Day 35, 25 6 2013, Chalus to Auphelle

The photo above is taken from our hotel room window this evening.  The hotel is on Lac de Vassiviere, the second biggest lake in France, which we did not know about until 4.00pm this afternoon.

We stayed in the village of Chalus last night because our Michelin atlas had given it two stars.  In most respects it is an ordinary village, but has a bit of history attached.  Richard Coeur de Lion, as he is known in these parts was killed here.  He had taken some time off from slaughtering innocent Palestinian women and children in the name of god, to slaughter a few of his local subjects, when, so the story goes, he was shot in the neck with a bolt from a crossbow.  Our English hotel owner told us there is some doubt about exactly where this might have happened, but he pointed to my bar stool and said he believes that it happened right there.

So we followed the route Richard Coeur de Lion for quite some distance both yesterday and today, and there we interesting castles and fortifications from that period along the way.

Last night some Norwegian riders booked into our hotel, riding the same direction we were going, so presumably they also had looked at their map and found that this was the best route for crossing from the south-west to the north-east.

We are still riding in the Limousine area, so there are plenty of hills, as the profile shows, but nothing too steep, averaging around 5%.  In fact, there is nothing but hills.  We climbed 2150m vertically today, but mostly over hills of less than 200m. So it was not difficult.  The forest and field scenery was great, and the weather was fine and cool which makes for comfortable riding.

I made a navigational error, which took us south of our intended route.  I confused the D15 with the D19.  It is partly Roz’s fault, as she knows I can’t navigate without a GPS but did not stop me.  Anyway, we stopped to work out where we were going to go and an English man stopped to talk to us.  This has happened several times on this trip, and we have the impression that they just want to talk in natural English for a while.  He lives in the area and showed us the lake on our map, which seemed a better route to take, and told us about it.  So we decided to go there.

Roz photographs cows wherever we go, and these Limosuine cows look very pretty.

We stopped at the western end at 5.00 and asked TomTom if there were any hotels around and it suggested a few at the town of Auphelle, and none elsewhere.  Se we rode the 6Km to this magic spot.





We have found that the cool weather in France has left some tourist spots short of clients, so we had no trouble finding this room with the magic view.

92Km of good riding with a great twist to the end of the day.


Roz says

Pilgrims were all along the track for the last couple of days, popping out here and there as they negotiate the various trails.  Distinctive with their huge packs, poor buggers!  Look particularly miserable on the wet days.

Percentages, bike boy always raves about engineering of French roads and King Louis and gun carriages and 5% max, you’ve heard it all before.  Well not here in the south!! 8% to 15% regularly as we cross from valley to valley.



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