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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.

13th July, 67km, avg 14.7km/hr, max 49.3km/hr, 4:34 hrs

Click to see the map of this section

I had an early start, this first photo, taken as I rolled out of the campsite gates, is timed at 5:59am.  It's not a particularly good photo, taken against the sun with my phone, but it was so beautiful I had to try.  Golden sunlight shafting through a break on the ridge opposite, silhouetting the trees and just starting to light up the sunflowers.  Mist still lingering.

 

Sunflowers

There comes a point in France where sunflowers are more and more common, like spotting the first palm tree when I'm in Spain, they seem emblematic, naturally enough, of warmth and ease.

 

Tabac, closed

I think this tabac might be closed, even for the sale of Woodbine (a joke for the older reader).

 

Mist again

It was an odd morning, the mist had gone and it was clear blue skies, and then, for about an hour, I was pedalling through misty hills again.  It was so misty I had to constantly wipe my glasses else they too misted up.  A miniature micro-climate.