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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.

Supper run

I decided to explore a little after lunch, it was now about 1.30pm.  My goodness it was nice to be off the canal.  As nice as it was the constantly changing views on normal roads was much more to my liking.  I think I took this photo because of the board pattern that was used on the barn.

I thought I'd try and find a shop to buy a few things for a picnic dinner.  I found a grocers in Colayrac Saint-Cirq where I bought a nice bottle of chilled rosé, some paté de tête, a tomato, and some cherries, I already had a half baguette.  I must say it was a picnic dinner I particularly enjoyed.  I gave the remaining half bottle of rosé, having drunk the other half, to the nice french family who'd lent me their hammer when I was putting up the tent.

 

 

Moulin de Mollet to Moulin St Laurent

22nd July.  19.7km, avg 13.9km/hr, max 41.3km/hr

It had started raining about 7.30pm the night before and had rained and thundered all through the night.  It stopped for literally 20 minutes around 7.30am, giving me just enough time to take down the tent and pack up and get going, after 5 minutes it started raining again.

Even the sunflowers looked drenched and bedraggled.

I was off to another campsite just south of Port Saint Marie.  I'd found out about it from the very helpful town hall, that I'd popped into when I'd gone out for food the previous evening.  The woman in the town hall had phoned them, they had space, and it was much cheaper.  So I thought I'd take the hilly, back-way there.

 

Hills

The hills didn't look so much but my god were they steep.  I'd cycled all the way from Auxerre, and through parts of the Limousin, which is known for being hilly, and I didn't once have to get off to push.  I did here.  Twice.

It's slightly too cloudy to make out but the view down into the Garonne valley was quite impressive.

 

Shelter from the storm

The rain had been constant, but not too heavy, but then it really turned nasty and I had to look for shelter.  I don't quite know why since I was already soaked to my underpants, but then it's always nice to be under the dry eaves of some building looking out at the rain, rather than the other way around.

I stayed here for half an hour and finished off the last of my cherries before the rain eased and I set off again down hill for a change.