Day 18, 8 6 2013, Beaume to Saint-Aubin

Beaume was at its best this morning.  It was a beautiful mild summer’s day, and it was market day.  The market spilled from the squares into the surrounding streets for some hundreds of meters.  All traffic was excluded.  The central market was food, particularly local and the more distant point tended to be old wares, handicrafts and clothes.  There were throngs of people and a great atmosphere.

There is a bicycle wine route running south of Beaume, and it is delightful.  It meanders through villages and vineyards, through very pretty country and is an easy ride.  We arrived at the village of Santenay at the end of the route to find that the local café was full of bike riders.  This is what happens when the infrastructure is in place.

At one point in this trip I stopped in a village where a wine tasting was in progress.  The host was explaining to his English-speaking clients that the luke-warm white wine he was serving came from the hill just behind them and was therefore of surpassing quality.  I know this is all bullshit.  If he had served Chateau Cardboard from the Irrigated vines of Hay in Australia, neither he nor his clients would have known the difference. However, this nonsense has created a great industry for Burgundy.

From Santenay we rode along a very pleasant canal path into Chalon sur Soane.

We knew about these two routes from the information man in Beaume.

Cycling deteriorated somewhat after Chalon.  We rode through a long chain of villages on a road carrying a fair amount of traffic.  It appeared that there was considerable demand for headstones, windows and bakelite from the nature of the businesses.

Eventually we turned towards the market town of Tournus on minor roads, riding through very nice villages and countryside with a lot of great renovation projects on old half-timbered buildings.  As we approached Tournus we could hear rock music, then we saw that a huge festival was in progress, and I was immediately aware that we would not be staying in the town tonight.

The lady in the tourist information centre found us accommodation some 20Km south of Tournus and we arrived there at around 6.30, just as the rain started.

The hotel is at a service centre for the A6 motorway, so this is hardly atmospheric.  However, it is cheap, clean and completely adequate.  We had a choice of three cafes of various qualities at the truck stop and had a meal of quite surprising quality at a reasonable price.  So we are not staying in the atmospheric town we expected, but it is all good.

107 easy kilometers for the day.



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