To Brantôme - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

September 27, 2022

To Brantôme

We have a bit longer ride today, but an easier one.  Aubeterre and Brantôme are both river towns on the Dronne, and we’ll more or less follow the river the whole way.  As you’d expect, we go back and forth between short stretches biking right beside the water and longer ones that cut across hills on either side.  It’s the riparian three step: climb, coast, glide; climb, coast, glide.

It’s a quiet ride, but very pleasant one.  Besides the usual scenic highlights we expect to see but nevertheless are excited by when we come upon them - churches, interesting livestock, mills, dovecotes - the day has the added drama of uncertain weather.  It wasn’t predicted, but there are periods where it looks like we could get wet, followed from time to time by ones where we actually do get wet.  It’s nothing serious though, little more than a light misting for the most part.

We arrive a little past three and check in at Villa Medici, our home for the next two nights.  We’re greeted first by a middle-aged golden retriever who growls assertively for a minute or two until the owner comes out and introduces us.

Just ahead of us only a few hundred yards away and visible at the end of our street is Brantôme’s historic center, backwalled by the enormous abbey the town is renowned for.  There’s still time in the day for exploration, but there’s no rush - tomorrow looks like a rainout so we’ll see the town then.  For now we’re content to hang out until dinner and then head down to La Table d’Emilie where we’ll enjoy one of the best meals in recent memory.

Leaving Aubeterre on the route to Campostelle.
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Passing an unnamed church in Laprade.
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In the walnut grove.
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The Church of Petit Bersac, Le Bourg.
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A community book stand, Bourg-du-Bost.
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Saint Martin Church, Villetoureix.
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Snake house.
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Along the Dronne.
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Our lunch spot on the river, beneath an unmarked chapel.
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The Dronne, our lunchtime view today.
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Keith AdamsYou could do worse!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsYou’re right. Very peaceful. And I didn’t even mention the heron you can barely see perched on the snag in the distance.
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2 months ago
Moulin du Pont, an old mill converted to a restaurant.
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Cherry tomatoes.
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Well stacked.
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Some roadside art.
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This was an unexpected delight. We’ve been looking forward to the gorges and limestone cliffs we’ll be biking beneath in the coming weeks but didn’t expect to start so soon.
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Climbing school, apparently for emergency rescue workers or volunteers.
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Saint Barthélemy Church, Creyssac.
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A gentle giant, but of what breed?
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Rich FrasierNot to take away all of Bill's fun, but that's a Belgian Draft Horse if I'm not mistaken.
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1 month ago
Fantastic!
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We’ve passed so many sunflower fields like this, drying up unharvested. Did the drought ruin this year’s crop?
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Sanna PhinneyIn our area of France, the sunflowers dry up like this before harvesting. It’s winter feed - not used for making oil. I did read somewhere that the seeds have to dry on the plant like this to be mature enough for making sunflower oil.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Sanna PhinneyThanks, Sanna. That’s good to know. I’m surprised that I haven’t noticed this before, but maybe we haven’t been in the right regions in the right season before.
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1 month ago

Video sound track: My Lady, My Chikd by Keith Jarrett

Our dinner at Emily’s table: Prawns marinated in the Mediterranean with its cold accompaniment of Fregola Sarda and its candied grilled summer vegetables.
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Our dinner at Emily’s table: Pink pork ribs from “Cul Noir du Périgord” cooked for 7 hours with grilled vegetables accompanied by rosemary-infused polenta.
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Ride stats today: 37 miles, 2,000’; for the tour: 389 miles, 26,100’

Today's ride: 37 miles (60 km)
Total: 391 miles (629 km)

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