After a lovely breakfast we said goodbye to our hosts, Jan and Andrea. It becomes more difficult each time to leave because we have made some good friends and had such good times together that will always be part of this “patchwork quilt” trip of memories. Each day has delivered some incredible experiences that will be remembered by me for the rest of my life.
We head south towards the Pyrenees with the first day’s target distance being a 100km, not too long just enough to get the legs going again.
Mr Google maps could not decide where we should leave the village so after a few laps of Château Missier we finally picked a road an headed off down the hill. We soon picked up the Google route and from there on it was easy. I wonder how Google got these routes because we often went cross country past farm houses on their farm tracks.
Nevertheless it was very exiting and we travelled through the most beautiful countryside the Dordogne region can offer.
The first big village we reach is St Marcel de Perigord, a really pretty village with the main feature again the very old church.
Time for tea and we brew a pot on the riverside in the middle of the village. A large group of French motorcyclists out on a breakfast run also arrive shortly after us and pick the same spot for a break. Needless to say the tranquility is spoilt so onto the bike and off we go.
We arrive in Lalinde on the mighty Dordogne river and decide to stop for lunch and also explore the town.
It’s a Saturday so virtually every village is putting on a fair of sorts also in Lalinde, so the music and good cheer encourages me to stop and sample some local produce. With lunch I have two glasses of “Blond” beer which is very tasty but also very light.
We then continue south and on leaving the town on the river the road heads upwards and soon I was rueing the fact I had enjoyed 2 glasses of nectar because I was sweating it all out.
I was then forced to stop at a bistro in Couze-et-St. Front around 4pm to top up the fluid lost because water just was not doing it also to watch the TdF stage’s last few kilometres into the finish with an exiting sprint again.
We arrived in Villarreal at around 9.30pm and again the festival sounds drew me into the main square. I discovered a cheese shop called Fromage et Plus and for 6 euro got 2 glasses of wine and a selection of local cheeses with bread.
After a long day and the indulging in some local fare I tmade camp behind this church and slept very soundly!!
Tomorrow I continue south but I am concerned I will not make it onto the first mountain top finish at La Pierre St Martin on the 14th……. So if the TdF boys can fly I might resort to using the iron horse!!!
Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world