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.
Damn me but the nice french girl who'd helped me earlier in the post office turned out to be the municipal campsite worker. It seemed worthy of a photo, only in France does a campsite worker wear, not jeans and a tee-shirt, but a pretty dress with patent leather belt and a panama hat.
7th July, 70km, avg 17.2km/hr, max 44.9km/hr, 3:40 mins riding, 6 hours total
Rollover to see where I start from.
I couldn't avoid this main road. On my map it was only a D but turned out to be the N76 with lots of heavy lorries. All overtook on the other side of the road though a couple of times, with traffic approaching and only a single lane each way, there'd be a screech of air brakes and they'd slow from 90km/hr to 15 and put on their hazard warning lights and slowly follow me at a respectful distance until they could overtake. So, it was as nice as it could be but still less than restful.
Peace at last
I turned off onto this hard-packed dirt C road and within two minutes was back into the thickest silence, broken only by birdsong. Roll your mouse over this image to see the a bit further on along this road where I stopped for fruit and honey.
Sanscoin, breakfast number two
I frequently had two breakfasts in fact. Though this one was as much to find a toilet as anything else.
There was a market just setting up and I bought fruit at the stall you see. There were lots of stalls opposite and various bric-a-brac stands down the road you see that's blocked. I also bought a map here so that I could get more of an overview of where I was going. I'd printed out all the other maps but had forgotten this section since the decision to follow the canal had been a bit impromtu.