Avoiding the rain, but not the hills - What to do between doctors visits - CycleBlaze

July 3, 2019

Avoiding the rain, but not the hills

My intention was to ride to Gueret up the valley of the Creuse. But the weather report called for severe thunderstorms ending by mid-afternoon in that direction, while the hills south of Aubusson were to remain dry. In the event, I chose to do a loop ride in the hills and await further developments. It was nice to ride in the morning air. After the heat yesterday I was even happy to have a light jacket as I started out. But it did prevent me from scratching my arms as I rode along. My hotel of the previous evening did not have air conditioning and I had a few mosquito bites from having left the window open. I’m not complaining, mind you. Memories of Minnesota evenings filled with clouds of the little buggers still haunt me. Even thinking about them makes me itch. But I digress.

There were a few light sprinkles of the way from Aubusson to Felletin, but again nothing too much and the sun was soon out and I dried quickly. I was following the Creuse toward its source, but after a bit the river sort of disappeared into the forest, not to be seen again. Usually the source of river is a big deal in France, a habit left over from the Gauls no doubt, who worshiped their gods at springs. The conquering Romans also had a thing for water gods, so I was a bit disappointed that the spring feeding the river was not marked on the mad, nor was it indicated by signs. So I left the river and climbed through the forest toward St.Georges Nigremont, because why not and found myself atop a big hill/small mountain with marvelous views over the surrounding area.

I didn’t notice the smudges in my pictures until I uploaded them to my iPad. Yes, my eyesight is getting bad!
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I could see well enough to know that the skies had cleared to the north, at least partially, so I descended from the hills back to Felletin where I could  catch a train and avoid the afternoon heat on my way to Gueret. 

The train arrived a few minutes late to this end-of-the-line station, but nobody got off, and I was the only one getting on. In fact, I was the only passenger all the way to Gueret despite the train stopping at several intervening stations. Why it runs at all is a bit of a mystery.
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In Gueret I determined that my choices for hotel would be limited, but the Kyriad had room so I booked myself in for two nights. My principal goal was to have some where to hide from the afternoon heat while being able to enjoy the morning rides. 

Gueret has obviously seen better days. The museum of history and archaeology was closed for renovation and there isn’t much else to see in the town. It seems to survive mostly from government activities. As the prefecture of the Creuse it has lots of administrative buildings and the courts, but there is no industry to speak of. I checked for restaurants but the great majority were only open at noon (a sign that they were there mostly to serve office workers) and the ones that were open in the evening were the chain-type that acted to the cars passing on the autoroute. I did find a Chinese buffet place that was open in the evening, but again, I was the only customer, aside from a few local folks coming in for take-out.

Today's ride: 43 km (27 miles)
Total: 162 km (101 miles)

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