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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.

Stone figure

I was quite taken with this stone figure dispatching a dragon with his spear.  Lussac was quite a pretty town.

 

Breakfast

However, not only was it pretty, but it was well cared for too.  The street furniture was high quality too.  Stainless steel posts, well designed stainless seats and barriers too.  It was also home to this very nice café where I had one of the best coffees I'd had and, just around the corner, one of the nicest bakeries I'd come across.  This was a very, very good croissant and the bread was fantastic.

I also bought some rillette and sarce from the epicerie opposite.  Sarce is, apparently, a regional speciality.  It's a terrine made from cabbage, cauliflower and other things and tastes sort of like cold bubble and squeak, but even nicer.

 

La Vienne

Going over the bridge out of Lussac Les Châteaux I turned left onto the route de Gouex to cycle along by the side of this river, La Vienne.  I would follow it, more or less, for a couple of days and my campsite tonight would be on its banks.

Click to see Google Street View of the turnoff just after the Bridge out of Lussac (opens a new Window).

 

Wooded hills by a river

Whilst some of the road was flat, which is what I was hoping for since it followed a river, a lot of it went up and down.  Up and down quite a lot at times.  The climb up to Loudon was endless for instance.  Perhaps just me being a wimp, but with the heat, I was just in my lowest gear doing 4.5km/hr for what seemed like an age.

Though that's probably unfair, because, whilst it was hilly, it was mainly just great, I filmed various video bits in which I'm just rambling on about how fantastically pretty it all was.