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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.

Moissac - Napoleon Bridge

At least I think it's called the Napoleon, as you might appreciate, the Garonne is a very wide river, and Moissac is quite an attractive town.

 

Moissac Abbey

This is the older part of town leading towards the cobbled square with the abbey just ahead.

The main problem I had with the town, something I really noticed the next day when I decided to stay for a rest day, was the lack of cheaper restaurants.  There seemed to be about 5 grouped around the square that were more on the expensive end of things, a few kebab places, but then no middle or cheaper restaurants with everyday, good french food.

 

Food

I can't remember the name of this restaurant, but it was up the corner next to the abbey and next door to the tourist office, which is the building just ahead with those hanging baskets outside. 

The tourist office was the least friendly or useful that I'd ever come across.  They either didn't know or didn't care about anything I asked about.  Perhaps I'd lost them the first time I visited since I'd mentioned that Rick Stein had done a TV programme about travelling the Canal by barge and had eaten chips cooked in goose fat on an open fire somewhere in this area.  The woman in the tourist office simply said I could buy some potatoes and goose fat and cook them myself. 

Obviously not head of Gastro-tourism then.

 

Shaded

The restaurant was very busy, with all the tables outside under the shade of this magnolia tree.  I was lucky to get a table in the shade of the wall, looking out on the square.

I'd decided that today was a treat day and went for a 23€ menu with a glass of rosé.  Boy was it worth it.