A Vallee, A Ridge, Another Vallee & A Well-Deserved Nap!

I just woke up from a wonderful nap, so I guess it’s time to post. I dreamed I was riding my bike in France. Oh wait, I am.

Today, I’m gonna describe my day in photos, starting with breakfast, which is pretty much the same over here at every hotel: coffee, yoghurt and maybe a little fruit, lots of bread products and all sorts of jellies, jams, spreads and even cheese and meat to put on your bread products. Today: Hard-boiled eggs. For the first time. I had two. I knew I needed fuel for the day to come.

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It’s only 2 kilometers from my hotel to the town of Saint Cirq … but it’s all uphill a really steep uphill. I made it, thanks to those 2 hard-boiled eggs. But I have to admit: Climbing on stiff, morning legs is a tough way to start the day. The tourist website calls it a “heart-stopping” village, and I think they’re referring to the ride up.

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An uphill means a corresponding downhill, and this one was all the way down to the river. Here’s what it looked like.

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At the bottom is the famous Chemin de Halage, which are a long tunnel carved into the cliffs. You can walk through them. But you can’t ride your road bike along them. At least I can’t. I left my bike at one end, put on my “regular” shoes and started walking. Pretty cool, here’s two shots…

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Then it was over to the Cele River Valley, which is similar to the Lot River Valley, maybe even a little more picturesque. Maybe. I haven’t decided yet.

Here’s the view…

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When I got to the town of Marcilhac it was time to head back to the Lot River, which meant going up and over the ridge between the two valleys. Here’s the ridge…

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Yikes! Fortunately, it wasn’t as tough as it looks, as you ride along the side of the mountain and not straight over it. And, with my legs warmed up and without all my stuff … it was a piece of gateau. And, once up and over and down to the Lot here’s the view. There’s something magical about cliff-lined valleys with rivers at the bottom. And, why aren’t these routes along the Lot and Cere called gorges? Do they have to be a certain height, width or length to officially be a gorge? Are there are any gorge experts out there who can help answer this all-important question?

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Only 25 or so Ks back to the hotel, and, again, my bike computer went on and off all day. My best guess is I went a total of 47 miles. Here’s the Chateau Cenevieres. I wonder who has visited the most French castles? I just googled it … and couldn’t find anything. I bet there’s some kooky man or woman out there who’s life mission is to visit every one and has an Instagram account on it. I bet I’m pretty high up on the all-time of list of people who have ridden by and not stopped to go into the most French castles. I’ve been by hundreds, maybe a thousand or more! And I’m adding to my record every day.

OK, only a few more Ks to go to the hotel, and here’s one last shot from my great day of riding…

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