Lafrançaise to St Cirq Lapopie - From Munich to Spain to France - CycleBlaze

May 28, 2024

Lafrançaise to St Cirq Lapopie

A great ride punctuated by a few minutes of terror

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We had another long day ahead of us and it was hard to get going given how nice it was to get a cup of tea that Dave prepared for me, the sun was streaming through our windows,  and the classical music was playing on the mini speaker. This was the first breakfast we had in France that was the typical French breakfast ie: croissants, baguette and coffee. We had remembered this style from previous trips and have been really pleased that French hotels have introduced yogurt and some protein to their breakfasts. Today it was the old fashioned kind, however. We accordingly carb-loaded, and took the remainder of the baguette with jam and butter as a snack for the road.

Breakfast was carb lover's delight.
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We needed to pay Edwige for the dinner and wine from the night before and when Dave pulled out a credit card she said she didn’t take credit cards. (This frustrates me because we booked and paid for the night on, where we used a credit card). Anyway, we didn’t have enough cash so she and Dave agreed to use PayPal. He locates her name, she clearly confirms it’s she and he sends the euros. They don’t arrive although Dave gets a confirmation they were sent. So, after a bit more fussing around, he shows her the information again and THEN she says that wasn’t she after all! In other words, we had sent the cash to some other Edwige. We were pissed because she had clearly indicated assent and that the Edwidge Dave was sending to was she. There was nothing to be done about it and honestly she didn’t even seem that sorry about it. We felt all we could do was put in the corrected name, she got her euros, at our expense. It was a frosty departure, unfortunately, and we steamed for another half hour before accepting that things happens, it was a nice day and we were cycle touring. Later that afternoon she sent Dave a video of the new chicks- maybe it was her way to apologize for her role in our loss of 85 euros? 

A lovely day in the French countryside.
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Today’s ride was 5 hours of glorious riding punctuated by 15 minutes of terror in the middle of it. The ride from Lafrançaise to Cahors was wonderful: small roads with some stiff climbing and small towns, vineyards and orchards. We couldn’t find a bench to stop and eat our baguette sandwich so sat at the side of the road in L’Hospitalet. Murphy’s Law: 5 k later down the road was the charming, upscale Labastide-Marnhac with the perfect bench in the shade outside the church.

 After a killer descent we approached the only large town of the day, Cahors, and as soon as we encountered a roundabout, we suddenly entered maniacally bad busy industrial traffic on the southern outskirts of Cahors. The road was narrow,  had no shoulder and high curbs to boot. Dave yelled at me to pull over so some trucks could pass and when I did so there were no breaks for me to get back into the traffic.  I waited a really long time. Fortunately he waited up ahead and we just accepted we had to take a lane and they would have to deal with it.

The town of Cahors, known for its deeply red, full bodied Malbec wines.
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After about 5  k Komoot directed us to take a left turn and Dave did turn left, but realizing there was no street (just a driveway into a busy commercial building) he stopped at the very narrow median in the middle of the commercial street. I pulled over next to him and so we were huddled together in a tiny median, and because the traffic was so loud we couldn’t talk normally to each other to decide what to do. Traffic was whizzing by us and we had about a foot on each side of us.  We finally opted to take the Komoot-directed left turn. Dave had a small break in the oncoming traffic and went for it. Unfortunately, he missed his clip-in and nearly tumbled into the oncoming rush of cars and trucks. After a few choice swear words and a quick recovery we made it across. And sure enough, after winding our way through a huge full parking lot, we reach a back alley and the route threaded us through a quiet part of Cahors to the center. The center wasn’t exactly a piece of cake, because although bike lane markings were everywhere the traffic was aggressive and we were pretty frazzled by the time we reached our mid-afternoon destination- an ice cream shop. That revived us; the waiter was nice and we had a good visit about artisanal ice cream, used the toilettes, and just generally refreshed ourselves from the recent traffic drama. The ice cream was excellent too. Fortunately getting out of Cahors was much easier and we were soon on quiet roads for the last 25 k of the day, and a final big climb, a nasty end to a very tiring day.

We found solace in Cahors thanks to this wonderful ice cream shop where we enjoyed artisanal ice cream shipped up from nearby Villeneuve sur Lot.
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Continuing on our way from Cahors.
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The valley with St Cirq Lapopie in the distance.
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The town of St Cirq Lapopie is amazing. More on that tomorrow.

Today's ride: 75 km (47 miles)
Total: 1,093 km (679 miles)

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