In Perigueux: up the Isle - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

September 30, 2022

In Perigueux: up the Isle

Weather looks ideal for today’s ride - light breeze and clear skies, gradually clouding over as the day progresses.  It’s chilly in the morning so we relax around the apartment while the day warms up, enjoying scrambled eggs and coffee while the clothes drier completes its cycle. It’s nearly noon when we leave the building and bike past Perigueux’s distinctive cathedral descending to the Isle.  Once there we turn east and upriver, following the same excellent riverside trail we rode into town on yesterday.  The next seven or eight miles are as good as it gets, cycling wise - sunny, scenic, flat.  Cycle candy.

? leahcaR s’erehW
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We get our best view of Perigueux’s extraordinary cathedral from the bridge across the Isle.
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It’s a perfect morning for enjoying reflections off the river.
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Along the Isle.
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Along the Isle.
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Along the Isle.
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Along the Isle.
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Oho! I’ll have to start keeping an eye on the ground now that we’re further south again.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a common wall lizard. They are an introduced species in Cincinnati, where I have caught them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podarcis_muralis

Nice photo!
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1 month ago
And he’s keeping an eye on me. After taking this shot I looked away for a second and when I looked back he was gone.
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Bill ShaneyfeltGreat macro photo!
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1 month ago
An unnamed chateau, along the Isle.
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The Isle.
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After about eight miles our route leaves the Isle and continues upstream, now following its tributary the Auvézère.  We’re on a quieter, coarser forest road now, and after a few miles start gradually climbing the only real ascent of the day.  Rachael has gotten ahead of me here and has been out of sight for a few miles.  I’m tracking her position on the Garmin though, and not long past the summit I’m surprised to see that she’s moving my direction even though our turnback spot is still some miles off.  

About half a mile into the descent our paths intersect where she’s waiting for me at a junction.  The route I have mapped for us, a marked cycle route, turns to gravel here.  She’s been down it far enough to see that it’s worsening as she goes with no end in sight so she turned back.  Why not keep riding on this perfectly nice paved road instead, she suggests?

An excellent suggestion, quickly adopted.  We follow this road for another three or four miles rolling along at generally the same elevation, but eventually come to the point where it’s starting a sustained drop and decide that’s our cue to turn back.  We backtrack a few miles to Sarliac-sur-Isle and pull off at its small church to sit on a bench in the sun and eat lunch.

Lantern plant.
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I was stopped on this empty road focused on the green tunnel ahead when I heard a quiet whirring sound approaching from behind me. Might as well wait and include them in the frame.
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An open vista near the high point of the ride.
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The ride back is as enjoyable as it was on the way out, although there’s a bit of a headwind now and it’s starting to cool down.  It’s nearing five by the time we make it back to town, push our bikes through the congested pedestrianized zone around the cathedral, and drop to our apartment.

A colorful figure on the bridge across the Auvézère, at Le Grange.
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The Auvézère.
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An unnamed chateau, Le Grange.
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Through the ever-popular poplars.
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Video sound track: Lalene, by Keith Jarrett

The fine day continues well with a second fine dinner here, this time at La Bouteille Bleue.  At the end though our otherwise perfect day nearly ends in catastrophe when we approach our apartment building and Rachael asks if I have the keys.  No, and neither does she.  We haven’t made this mistake in a very long time, and as a humorous touch to the situation I tell her that I had just been reminding her over dinner of another forgotten key episode, three years ago in Toro.  

It sounds like this might have been prescient, and that maybe I subconsciously knew we’d forgotten to check with each other for the keys before leaving the apartment.  It wasn’t that though, just an interesting coincidence.  We were seated next to a wall lined with wine bottles, and I noted that the one by my shoulder was bottled in Toro and it reminded me of the incident.

This is the only other time I can remember us pulling this stunt, and it’s remarkable that it came up at dinner even though we haven’t thought about it in ages.  It’s probably our best locked-out story ever (in contrast to our best locked-in story, when I locked Rachael inside an outhouse in southwest France and had to carve out the lock with my Swiss Army knife).  We realized we were locked out then the instant we closed the door behind us and immediately called the hotel’s posted after-hours emergency number with no response (we later learned that the number was incorrect).  It’s quite a saga, and if you have a minute to spare you might follow the link to see the interesting way that it eventually resolved.

Tonight’s situation thankfully resolved more easily - we called the apartment owners, they eventually answered, and even though they don’t speak English really at all I succeeded in communicating the situation and five minutes later the owner walked up, smiled, and let us in.  Embarrassing, but no catastrophe.

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Ride stats today: 40 miles, 2,200’; for the tour: 482 miles, 31,300’

Today's ride: 40 miles (64 km)
Total: 482 miles (776 km)

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Keith AdamsTo prevent lockouts we NEVER lock the door knob, only the deadbolt. And we make sure not to have the angled, spring-loaded "automatic locking" type: only straight bars that can only be locked from the outside with the key. Saves us a ton of grief and hassle.

Of course in rentals you get what you get, without any choice in the matter.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsWe’re pretty much the same. It’s a rare spot where we feel like we should lock the door to our room, even when we’re inside (you’ll recall the drunk woman that barged in on us back in Wales desperate to use our toilet). We really dislike rooms that auto lock, and are especially careful when we land in one of these.

In this case the room wasn’t the problem. Since we’d left the key to our room, the door to it was unlocked - as our host tried several times to explain to me. I was pleased tha I was able to get across to him that the problem was with the door to the entire building, on the street.
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1 month ago
Patrick O'HaraGlad it worked out for you guys. Beautiful area of France, that's for sure. Are you heading to Les Eyzies? Once again, viewing your photos and reading your writing are always a highlight of my day. Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures, Scott.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraYou’re too late. We’re not heading to Les Eyzies, we are in Les Eyzies! Stay tuned.
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1 month ago
Rich FrasierBeautiful pictures and write-up, Scott. It makes me once again so thankful that we have the opportunity to cycle in this amazing country. Thanks.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Rich FrasierThanks, Rich. Such a wonderful country you’ve landed in. It’s turning into a spectacular autumn.
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1 month ago