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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.

Back to the Canal

There seemed to be times when the canal just didn't go through any towns with shops.  I'd taken two detours into villages looking for food with no luck at all and in the end took a longer detour to Corbigny.  Quite a hilly detour in fact, I was already spoiled with the easy flat riding along the canal.

At Corbigny I found food, including what was to become my favourite: paté de tête, I also bumped into the couple I'd got off the bus with at Auxerre.  They were going to follow the Vezelay pilgrim route south to Lourdes.  Unfortunately, they'd had a bad start in that the woman had fallen off her bike on the first day and badly grazed her leg and arm, but she was carrying gamely on.

This photos is after I've had a fast descent back to the canal, easily found on tiny side roads thanks to the Memory Map GPS.  You can always tell when I've food onboard, the back rackpack has it's lid extension raised

Smile

 

Lunch with a view

It was only 9.30 but I was starving already, so I ate my tomato, celeriac remoulade and head paté with a half baguette sitting just here.  A yellow peach for afters.  Fantastic.

 

Back roads

The cyclepath sometimes took detours away from the canal, where the towpath wasn't usable, but it made little difference there's still very few people and virtually no traffic.

 

I think it's Chatillon.  I had lunch in the town, which was decorated to greet the Tour de France which was passing through at some point.  I took the photo simply as yet another chateau by the banks of the river/canal.