To Capdenac-Gare - Three Seasons Around France: Autumn - CycleBlaze

October 13, 2022

To Capdenac-Gare

In writing up yesterday’s post I did some research trying to learn more about the suspension bridge to Bouziès.  I found nothing, but was surprised to find that the railroad bridge just upriver from here was a creation of Gustave Eiffel, and that it’s possible to walk across it since the rail line is abandoned.  I was disappointed that I didn’t even bother taking a photo of it, but then quickly remembered we were here another night and there was still time.  After rushing through breakfast this morning I excused myself from the table and headed off to the bridge.

On the Eiffel Bridge, Bouziès. The rail line is abandoned and it’s a safe walk, as long as you watch your balance and stay away from the edge.
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Graham FinchA masterpiece of perspective.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Graham FinchI was mindful of my balance when I knelt down for this. There’s nothing at all on the right but a long drop to the river.
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1 month ago
The Eiffel Bridge gives a nice perspective on the cliffs and towpath.
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Looking back.
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I could have just reversed direction and walked back across the bridge instead but I decided to make a short loop of it and walk back by way of the road and recross the river on the suspension bridge instead.  I enjoyed walking beneath the cliffs well enough, but it’s not a walk I’d repeat - there’s no shoulder at all, and I wouldn’t want to be here when there was any traffic to speak of.

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It’s overcast and chilly this morning, and suddenly it feels like we’re well into autumn.  We were surprised at dinner last night when our server told us he was looking forward to returning home to India the next day (today).  I asked if the hotel was closing soon, and he said it would be at the end of the month.  The season is ending, and soon we’ll start having trouble finding places that are still open.  It’s hard to believe that just a month ago in Britain it was still summery.

It’s not just overcast today.  There’s the threat of rain this afternoon, so we’re all interested in getting an early start in the hopes of arriving dry.  We’re starting off in the same direction for a few miles so we leave the hotel together, and stop on the suspension bridge for a last group photo.

And then there were three.
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ann and steve maher-wearyWhat a shot, great friendship, one last pose!
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Scott AndersonTo ann and steve maher-wearyWe only took one, so I’m glad it came out so well. And we barely got Rachael’s white shoelaces in the frame!
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Eastbound up the Lot, together for a few miles more still. Look at that sky though! We’re reminded again of how exceptionally lucky we’ve been with the weather for the past week. It couldn’t have been better.
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I like this shot of the cliffs above the towpath because it shows the road above that we biked down last night.
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More of the same.
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Looking up at Saint-Cirq.
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We haven’t marked our routes for these first few miles, but when it comes time to go our separate ways I look at the Garmin again and see that we can cross the river and continue on with Susan’s route for another mile; so we prolong the departure then, and then again once more at the next junction.  Finally though we come to the last stop, say our final goodbyes for now, and watch as Susan bikes off.  It’s been a great week - who knows when we’ll meet again?

Our long goodbye ends when we come to Cregols and Susan leaves us to head south and up to the Causse. À bientôt!
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I’ve mapped us to cross back over to the north bank of the river, but now that we’re here I look again at the map and see that we can continue on the much quieter south bank for several more miles.  It makes Rachael anxious to be off the marked route for long, but I convince her and we stay together so there’s no chance of getting separated.  It was the right call, and we enjoy very pleasant riding on the totally empty lane until finally there’s no choice but to return to the north bank and follow the main road upriver the rest of the way.

Along the Lot. This is such excellent riding country, with mike after mile of easy, flat riding beneath these towering cliffs. It’s similar to riding along the Célé, except that the river is larger and the valley wider here - wide enough that there’s room for a road down both banks for several miles.
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This is such a strange shot. It looks like the center of a longer building was hacked out to make room for the road.
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Cornered.
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As fine and quiet as the riding was on the south side, we needn’t have been concerned because it’s nearly as quiet on the main road this morning.  And stunning - we enjoy one dramatic scene after another all the way to Capdenac-Gare, where we pull in at our hotel happy to have arrived dry.  We’re just in time, as the first of the showers commence not long after we pull in.

Caylus? I’m not sure.
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So many photogenic settings along this river.
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Along the Lot.
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Along the Lot.
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I like photos that label towns. I feel confident in identifying this one.
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Along the Lot. It really was as quiet today as these photos suggest. This must be the ideal time to be here, at the end of the tourist season.
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The Chilean de Carraque-Trivaue, near Balaguier-d’Olt.
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I recognize these now! It’s another of these farrier’s structures for constraining animals while they’re being shod.
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Along the Lot. The river is still wide and navigable here, with slackwater sections like this interspersed with rapids and a short lock so boats can navigate past them.
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We’re only a few miles from Capdenac, and I think we’re looking across the neck of a hairpin bend in the river. I can’t figure out what the town up there is though. Capdenac? Figeac? I haven’t found the church that matches that profile yet.
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Video sound track: Goodbye, by Keith Jarrett

There aren’t many better pleasures than arriving dry on a day that threatens rain.  Auberge La Diege is a great stop for us, one we’ve chosen for its convenience down on the river rather than biking uphill to Figeac again.  It’s very bike friendly - they unhesitatingly direct us to just wheel them in to a conference room and lean them against a wall somewhere.  Later I’ll notice a plaque about the Tour de France nd ask if the tour came through here.  Yes, and we’re told that the Women’s TdF is coming next year, but we’re cautioned to not say anything yet because the official announcement of next year’s schedule is still a few weeks off.  So shhh!

At our hotel in Capdenac-Gare, Auberge La Diege. Rachael looks like she’s wondering when I’m finally going to go on a diet.
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Keith AdamsWhen Future Bike arrives I may have to spring for an R+E jersey. Looks nice!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsHey, you can have mine! I’m about to recycle it.
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Keith AdamsTo Scott AndersonOh so it was white when it was new?
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Ride stats today: 34 miles, 1,000’; for the tour: 858 miles, 53,700’

Today's ride: 34 miles (55 km)
Total: 859 miles (1,382 km)

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Janice BranhamI keep rewinding the dessert and am now lost in Rachael's Vimeo feed. So much beauty. Mind if I share?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Janice BranhamHmm, I’d better check with her. Rachael, can Janice share your video feed?

Oh, that’s so nice!! Yes, of course. I’m thrilled. Thank her for me.
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1 month ago