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.
I was hoping for a Lebanese restaurant, and although I'd seen one earlier I couldn't find it again. However, I did spot a Tandoori place with a special lunch time menu of only 6€. Plus you got to watch a Bollywood musical whilst eating, the food was pretty good too.
Deyme to Moissac
20th July. 88km, avg 17.5km/hr, max 33.7km/hr.
And so the return towards Agen from whence I would take the bus to England on the 25th. I planned on stopping at Moissac again, the same as I had on the way down. Especially now as I'd bought some swimming trunks in the sales at Toulouse and it meant I could use the very inviting swimming pool at the campsite.
This photo, by the way, is a sort of marina just to the south of Toulouse.
Hemp, Marihuana, Mary Jane, Grass, Weed. I suspect it was just the former, hemp, grown for rope-making, either that or I'd stumbled across one of the region's major earners.
It was slightly surreal though, nonetheless, cycling along and suddenly there is a major dope field stretching to the horizon. Rollover with your mouse to see a closeup photo.
Sunset over the Garonne
I got back to Moissac without incident, ah, other than meeting the canoist I'd met in La Réole again. He'd changed from La Garonne to the canal again because navigation on the river was becoming too problematic.
So, I got back to Moissac, set up my tent, and walked in the midday sunshine to enjoy the cool waters of the blue, blue swimming pool. I got just up to my swimming trunks when I was accosted. Apparently there's a regulation in France that forbids wearing swimming trunk shorts in public pools! It's to stop problems with young hip-hop kids who wear their shorts all day and then swim in them. The fact that, with my grey hair and beard I'm patently neither young, hip-hop or a kid didn't, apparently, alter anything. I couldn't swim in my new swimming trunks.
I mentioned this problem to a fellow French cyclist I met in the campsite who circumvented the problem by just swimming in his underpants. Hygiene be damned. Underpants are, apparently no problem whereas swimming trunk shorts are.