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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.

Smoke Bush

I don't think I've ever seen a smoke bush in as full flower as this one.  A lot of gardens, in addition to great displays of flowers, had a really good selection of trees and bushes.

 

Saint Savin

The town of Saint Savin was very pretty.  I'd popped in from the campsite to get some food for a picnic dinner, just made it, I went to the 'huit a huit' (8 'til 8) that shut at 7.00!  And then decided to explore a little.

There was a large town square with a few restaurants and bars around its tree lined centre.  An abbey that's on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and some impressive bridges.

 

Bridges over the Gartempe

There was a tree lined boule area just next to the Abbey with this view of two arched bridges over the river Gartempe.

I turned to ride back and bumped into a group of lads who were interested in my bike.  It turned out that one of them had designed and built his own mountain bike who was more than interested in how my Challenge Mistral was made.

 

The old mill

The municipal campsite was on the site of an old mill just outside of town.  It was a small and very pretty site with few other people there.  There was one guy I got talking to, a cyclist with his bike on the back of their camper van.  He was keen that I should go to the Semaine Federale.  He was an interesting guy and a good advert for cycling being good for you; he looked to be in his 50s but was actually 75.