In Bouziès: hike to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

October 11, 2022

In Bouziès: hike to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, our CycleBlaze meetup grew in Bouziès when we were joined last night by Ann and Steve Meyer-Weary, stopping here for two nights on their circuitous route from Barcelona to Toulouse.  They arrived here last night not long after we did, and we realized later that we must have just missed meeting each other by only a few minutes in Cabrerets, where they biked to visit the famous prehistoric cave paintings in Pech Merle.  It is a complete delight to have them here with us after following their journey for the past few years.  

Over dinner and conversation last night we discussed how we wanted to spend our day here and decided leaving the bikes in their stall and taking a walk along the famous towpath to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie would be the perfect use of the day.  And we were right.  Once again we were blessed with perfect weather to enjoy this remarkable place to the best advantage; and by walking along together, stopping to admire one exceptional scene after another or to just chat and discuss our lives, our lifestyles and the world, we were able to pack a significant visit into a brief period of time.  We’re grateful that they bent their itinerary to meet ours and look forward to the day when we’ll see them again.

So, for these two days at least we’re stitching together three CycleBlaze journals: ours, Susan’s, and Steve and Ann’s.  And, since I’m behind already here, I’m going to cut this short since we don’t really need three accounts of this same wonderful walk and refer you to theirs if you haven’t been following them already.

In Bouziès, a tiny place that pretty much consists of what you see here. Our hotel is on the immediate right.
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On the bridge across the Lot at Bouziès. It looks like it could be a footbridge only, but it does carry motor vehicles and shakes beneath your feet when one crosses.
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The Défilé des Anglais (the English Defile), a fortification built into the cliffs during the Hundred Years War.
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The Fearless Five on the Bouziès bridge, hoping a gust of wind doesn’t come up and blow my camera off the opposite railing.
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The bridge from below.
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On Le Chemin de Halage de Ganil (the Ganil Towpath). For about a kilometer this towpath was carved out of the cliffs along the Lot in 1847 to facilitate transporting goods up and down the Lot by barge.
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Admiring the hundred foot long bas relief sculpture carved from the face of the cliff. Created by Toulouse artist Daniel Monnier, it illustrates the region’s flora, fauna and many fossils.
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On the Ganil Towpath.
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On the Ganil Towpath, a place I’ve wanted to revisit for over twenty years. It’s satisfying to come back and find it as exceptional as it’s remained in my memory.
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The view across the river. In spots like this the river is made navigable by a pair of small locks that let boaters evade the rapids.
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We’re off the carved towpath now, but continuing alongside the river and canal for another mile until climbing away from it into Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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Looking back along the Lot. If we ever come back we should rent a canoe and see the cliffs from the water.
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The church at Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Built in the 16th century around the apse of a previous Roman church, it is dedicated to Saint Cyricus (the origin of Cirq in the village’s name).
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Entering Saint-Cirq from below - an exceptionally well preserved village, with some of it’s original homes dating back to the 13th century.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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In Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
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Looking downriver on the Lot from a viewpoint above Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Bouziès Is just around the bend.
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A view upriver from the same spot. On the right you can see boats waiting their turn to navigate through the lock. It must be a very slow way to travel.
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Looking down on the village from above.
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Walking back to the village by the high route. We’ve been walking a roughly eight mile loop, Sur les traces d’André Breton. It’s named after the French author and poet and one of the originators of surrealism, who lived in Bouzies for several years.
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Comment on this entry Comment 3
Kathleen ClassenI love all CycleBlaze meetups, but I think I love them even better in amazing locations like this. What a hike!
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1 month ago
ann and steve maher-wearyWhat a day and to think we’ll have both yours and Susan’s blogs to remind of this memorable time spent together. Thank you!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo ann and steve maher-wearyIt was an exceptional day, alright. Thank you both so much for making it here to join us for a few days!
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1 month ago