Day 34, 24 6 2013, Perigueux to Chalus

We decided last night to look at how we were riding this part of our journey.  There is no obvious route through here, although it warrants it as much as most of France.  The problem is that the rivers run the wrong way to ride in France from the Pyrenees to Paris.  That is, it is not possible to pick river valleys that head in the right direction until you are quite close to Paris.  You have to ride into and up and out of them.

So Roz created a route that took us generally north east, avoided the more hilly country in the Limosuine area to the east, did not take us up and down more hills than were necessary, and took us through the two-star towns, as defined in our Michelin road atlas.

So we rode from Perigueux to the extraordinary town of Brantome, a town nobody has heard of, and would only appear on a route with the sort of constraints used to plan this part of our trip. The town in situated on an island on a bend in the Drome River.  It is different and worth the effort.  Lots of tourist stuff, and quite unexpected.  It is not at all clear how the tourists found out about it.

The weather had improved today, but remained cool and generally overcast, but not threatening for a change, and we stayed dry.

Our route took us into what the French call a national park.  It seems like the areas that are not called national parks.  There is farming, forestry, quarrying and so on, but probably more forest.

The other constraint on our route was that we would only ride on roads with little traffic, and this has worked very well.  It is rare that we see more than a dozen cars in an hour.  So we are riding in peace and quiet.

Today was a good day. We got into Chalus, our second two-star town around 5.00 and found what appears to be one of our better hotel finds.

So all is good.  85Km for the day, slow riding in the hills.

Roz says

OMG I just read Day 18.   May I add that this opinion is from a guy who does not drink wine and preferred Nescafe till the end of last century. Thought plunger coffee was a waste of money and who now scopes villages to ensure his coffee is from a proper machine!!

What is happenning?  We have spent over thirty years taking drought to places which is great for bike trips.  Not this time, wet and wetter.  My plastic bags are getting a real work out. 


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