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.
Not exactly a very pretty church, but I liked its proportions and the rhododendron bushes planted around it.
Sarce for breakfast
This was my breakfast, second one that is. It was so tasty. Lovely bread from the bakery in Lussac, rillette and sarce, which turned out to be fantastic. With fresh apricots to finish.
I sat by the side of the road and scoffed. At one point I looked up and realised I'd stopped on what was the ugliest stretch of road I'd seen in ages. Opposite a field which had been a copse but in which they'd chopped down all the trees. The reason for choosing the place had been my rising hunger and a handy street sign up against which I could lean my bike. The aesthetics of the view just didn't enter into it.
All the climbing up to Loudon had a payoff, a huge descent down to Availles-Limouzine, a beautiful village by the side of La Vienne. I was tired and although there appeared to be a campsite opposite the village I decided to eat first since it was about 12.30. I'm so glad I did.
This was the nicest food you can imagine. The restaurant was great. It's the Auberge de la Châtellenie and is also a hotel. Nice linen, nice crockery and lovely people. I was liquid, sweaty and stained and neither the waiter nor the other diners batted an eyelid. If you click on this photo I've made a collage of what I ate, since it deserved being photographed. It was:
a kir pêche for an aperatif, this plate of 'plaise-bouche', tornedos rossini (filet mignon with mushrooms, crouton and foie gras), an amazing pudding with crispy biscuit, raspberries and cream with a mint sorbet heart, followed by a selection of almond things: a biscuit, a foam and a mousse. With a lovely rosé (paid for by the house). Followed by coffee. They even filled my water bottle with iced water, at their suggestion. Cost me 23€, money well spent for the pleasure involved.