A loop to a tower and a gorge. - What to do between doctors visits - CycleBlaze

July 4, 2019

A loop to a tower and a gorge.

I made an early start of it, wishing to avoid the heat as much as possible. I’m still a little gun-shy about that after my episode of heat stroke last year. Nothing ruins a good bike tour like spending a might in the hospital with IV tubes in your arm. But I armed myself with plenty of water and electrolytes and was off. For once I did not get lost finding my way out of town (but more on that later). I did see one of the very few other cyclists I met in the Creuse. Given that one only encounters the retired or the very young on weekdays in France , I still find it surprising that more people dont take advantage of this lovely region.

Rolling farmland is something I never seem to tire of. Scenes like this are everywhere in the Creuse.
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For only the second time since I’ve been in France I was accosted by a dog hell bent on taking me down. The canine in question came shooting out of a farmyard, hackles raised and barking a deep warning cry. I yelled at it, and when it kept coming I jumped off my bike keeping gather bike between me and the dog. This evidently confused the dog, because it broke off its attack, although its fur remained raised and its growl was still menacing. I walked away slowly, always sure to keep the bike between myself and the mutt and yelled « NON » several times. Eventually I got far enough away that I could remount and ride off. Unchained dogs are rare here, and for the most part even then they are harmless. This one was probably a herding dog for the farm, and not used to the passage of cyclists. Maybe that’s why I saw so few?

I was headed to Toulx-Sainte-Croix to get a view from its reconstructed tower. After much climbing I got there to find :

A re-built signal tower once used to relay messages for the French military. A shame it was closed.
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Toulx-Sainte-Croix did not have any remaining businesses nor did it haver a restaurant, but being on the top of a hill it did have an easy way out of town. I coasted down the ten kilometers to Clugnat to look for lunch. There was none to be found though. The sparsely stocked grocery /bakery did not have sandwiches, and the only restaurant had closed years before I ever saw it. The only thing was to continue my ride to the next town of Chatelus-Malvaleix. I wa stopped by the side of the road when I was approached by a man who asked me if I was lost. I told him I was looking for lunch and he kindly directed me to the Auberge des Voyagers where lunch was being served. Not spectacular food, but simple country fare: a starter of salmon mousse and cooked ham, a main dish of grilled sausages and white beans, and dessert of a Paris-Brest pastry. Add orange juice and coffee, and it was more than adequate.

After lunch, it was time to return to the hotel and get into the air conditioning. I chose a route through Anzeme to get a glimpse of the gorges of the Creuse before following the route to the hotel.

Not as spectacular as the Alpine gorges, but very pretty in their own right.
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A climb out of the gorge to the plateau above, then a short ten kilometers to Gueret was all I had left to do. Oh, remember about not getting lost? The route from Anzeme to Gueret went right past my hotel, and in the end so did I, having to backtrack to get there.

Today's ride: 89 km (55 miles)
Total: 251 km (156 miles)

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Scott AndersonScary encounter with the dog. I don’t remember ever having an incident like that in France either.
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3 years ago
Jacquie GaudetIt seems to be regional, this not being able to find food in France. I had problems this year in Brittany, but never before...
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3 years ago
Keith KleinTo Jacquie GaudetHi Jacquie,
You are probably right. And I felt the same about Brittany, with some exceptions. (See my tour last year).
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3 years ago