A Lot of Rain and Wet Laundry on the Lot River

Before I tell you about my rainy day of riding, something amusing happened when I checked into the hotel here in Fumel.

“What is the password for the wifi?” I asked the guy at the desk.

He spelled it out slowly: “Cee … elle… eye … em … eighty.”

I punched it in: c-l-i-m-80. Nothing. It refused me … in French. He said it again, I punched c-l-i-m-80  in again, it refused me again, this time with a bit of an attitude.

“Here, I write it down for you,” the guy said. And he did, as you can see…

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Aha! He said “aaa-tee” and I heard “80.”

So, my day began and ended with wet bike clothes. It rained last night, which meant the bike kit I’d washed in the sink and left outside to dry on bungee cords … were soaking wet. I have two sets, and the other was clean and dry, but I didn’t want to pack up the wet kit in my panniers. They’d get skunky. And so, I did what you do with wet bike clothes in a hotel room: I used the hair dryer.

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Until the tiny motor overheated and stopped working. I packed the semi-dry bike stuff, put on the clean, dry set … and headed out.

The woman at the desk told me it would stop raining by 11:00. It did. But started up again soon after and continued to start and stop the rest of the day. Fortunately, the last hour into Fumel was dry and sort of sunny, and I dried off mostly.

Lots of castles today. Giant castles in the middle of nothing else, most on top of big hills. According to the francethisway.com website, there are most than 1,000 castles in the Dordogne region. Amazing. I think I saw 12 today.

Here’s a few photos from today, including someone who is either in the midst of building a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, or got halfway through and ran out of energy. Or a tall-enough ladder.

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It was  a dark and ominous day…

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I took cover and had a snack in the old wooden covered market in Monpazier, an old, walled town.

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When I got to Fumel, I found my hotel, the Brit Hotel (I don’t think it has anything to do with Great Britain), finally figured out the wifi password, washed today’s bike kit in the sink, wrung it out as dry as possible (that’s my daily upper-body workout) … and headed into town to look for a laverie to dry both sets of bike stuff in the dryer.

The nice woman at the Tourist Office gave me a cycling map of the region and a map of Fumel.

“Is there a laverie in town?” I asked.

She conferred with the other woman working there and they determined there was one, down the hill, across the river and then another kilometer or so on the D710. Darn, way too far to walk. Headed back to my hotel room and came up with this solution…

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As you can see, there’s a hair dryer, so later tonight and again tomorrow morning, I’ll see how long it takes to burn out this one’s motor. Maybe I should dry for a minute, stop and let the motor rest, dry for a minute, rest … and so on. I’ll try it.

Tomorrow: Day trip from Fumel to the amazing Bonaguil Castle, probably the most famous castle along the Lot.

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