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Auxerre to Agen

Another recumbent bike epic across France.  There seems to be a theme developing, accidentally, but based on European Bike Express' collection points; the last one was B to B (Beaune to Barcelona), this one is A to A.

Having gone down the east of France and over the Massif Central last year this year I thought I'd explore the westerly area a little more.  So, this trip went from Auxerre, followed the Canal du Nivernais to Decize, went west towards Chateauroux and Le Blanc then Poiter, followed La Vienne river skirting Angouleme, Limoge and Perigeux to get to La Reole, finally following the Canal Entre Deux Mers to Toulouse and a bit beyond before returning to Agen for the coach journey home.

About 1,500km in all.

One amongst many

This was just one of the sets of people I chatted to.  He'd spotted my scar from the triple bypass which started the conversation.  Their tibetan terrier was the next topic, over a nice glass of red they gave me.  I carried on chatting to the woman while he went to get frites and was still chatting by the time he came back.  In spite of my less than heartfelt protestations that I wasn't hungry they insisted I share their humungous portion of chips, which I happily did.

 

Tilleul - Lime Trees

I'd strolled out before the sun set and, in the boules pitches adjacent to the campsite, were lots of these lime trees.  I'd been seeing lots of them and didn't know what they were called at the time.  They are very fragrant and hum with the number of bees in them.

I'd met a dutch woman earlier in the afternoon, largely because of her Jack Russell terrier and the Jack Russell and Maltese Terrier cross, and she was out walking her dogs.  We strolled about for a while and she looked up the name of the tree in her dutch/french dictionary for me.

 

Dogs

There were lots of dogs at this site.  All well behaved and no trouble, this one was the owner's daughter's dog.  The owner's dog was a spotted great dane.

Later I was idling outside my tent and found, you can see if you rollover your mouse on this picture, a small stash of dog biscuits.

 

8th July.  87km, avg 16.5km/hr, max 61.9km/hr, 5 hrs riding but 8 hours total.

This photo, taken at 6.30am, doesn't quite show the terrain because it turned out to be a tiring day.  Long steep hills followed by a flat bit then down and another steep hill again.  Lumpy, coarse tarmac too, which slows you down badly even on the flat, all of which meant that by 12 I'd only done 50km.  I was better after food, not because of the food but because the tarmac was better, and it was a bit flatter.