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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.

Campsite, Chateauroux

Not actually Chateauroux in fact, some place with no name just 6km south near an exit to the A20.  A nice enough site, with a pool that I couldn't use since I'd forgotten my swimming trunks, and, as always, they were very friendly.

The site itself was largely shaded under large pine trees, but with the heat and no wind you could either stay outside and be eaten by mosquitos or stay in the tent and drip, I chose the latter.

I'd tried to choose a spot that wasn't actually under a tree, always do if I can, so that, were it to rain, you don't end up being dripped on long after the rain itself has stopped.  Good job I did because there was an almighty storm during the night with thunder and lightening that got closer and closer until the thunder and the lightening were simultaneous.

 

Maisons-Neuves to St-Savin

The nearest town to the campsite, south of Chateauroux, was Les Maisons-Neuves in fact.

9th July. 77km, avg 16.7km/hr, max 45.9km/hr - 9 hours

After the rain during the night the day started much cooler and, indeed it rained, shortly after I'd taken this picture.  Heavily once or twice but largely light enough to just ride through and ignore.

I took this picture on the move, which is why it's blurred, but it conveys a lot about this part of the landscape, north of Le Blanc.  Long straight roads, flat or with easy undulations.

 

Le Blanc

I got here about 12.00 and had a nice lunch, opposite the tourist office, of moules frites, having first bought a few things:  a replacement battery for the bike computer since it had stopped reading for about 10km, a new sink plug (a bouchon d'evier) to replace the one I'd left at Bruère Allichamps, a french novel (37°2 le Matin), and a map of the next section. It seemed a very nice town.

This picture is of the bridge over the river at the southern edge of the town.

 

Chase away the clouds

By lunchtime the clouds had gone and by 1 o' clock when I took this photo the temperatures were on the rise.  The streets of the villages I rode through were largely empty, the one bar tabac I passed was shut.