Day 1 - Limoux to Labastide-d'Anjou: Can we do this? It's HOT! - Limoux to Bordeaux Canal Cruise - Tandem Tour - Sept 2016 - CycleBlaze

September 6, 2016

Day 1 - Limoux to Labastide-d'Anjou: Can we do this? It's HOT!

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We rolled out of our garage at about 9:00AM, meeting the first goal of our tour!

Outside the garage - ready to roll
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Unfortunately, the day was really hot. So we probably should have left earlier. There's a bit of up and down from Limoux to Fanjeaux, and as the day warmed up and the hills kept coming, we started to lose energy. The bike felt heavy with all of the bags on it, which added to the challenge.

We took a lot of breaks where we could find shade.

Sometimes we even stopped in the sun!
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We packed a picnic lunch from home for the first day, but had hoped to stop at a cafe in Fanjeaux for a coffee. Unfortunately and inexplicably, the cafe was closed when we arrived at about 1130. We took the opportunity to poke around the upper city a bit - we had never stopped there before. It's a beautiful, but quiet, little town. We refilled with water at a spigot attached to the covered market and headed onwards.

Covered market in "downtown" Fanjeaux
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After Fanjeaux, the route dropped down out of the hills into the valley that holds the canal. It was very hot. We stopped and ate our picnic under a couple of oak trees in someone's driveway. Nowhere to sit and we were pretty beat. It took all we had to get to Labastide-d'Anjou.

Picnic along the road
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At the canal crossing, we were saved by the Relais de Riquet. A small cafe-bar serving beer and sodas. We heard lots of foreign languages - English, American, and German people on bikes were in the cafe like us - "rehydrating".

Savoring the Relais de Riquet
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After reviving ourselves, we proceeded to our hotel in Labastide-d'Anjou. We had booked in advance, although we seemed to be the only people staying there. It's called "Le Grilladou" and is bicycle-friendly and tandem-friendly. The owner gave us a key to a garage a few doors down the street where the tandem spent the night.

Le Grilladou in Labastide-d'Anjou
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The hotel has a cafe and restaurant attached. We "rehydrated" in the cafe and tried to stay cool while waiting for the dinner hour. We had dinner in the restaurant. A good meal despite the heat! One thing about France - it's hard to get a bad meal here.

Our room was small with a single window onto the street. It was still very warm, so sleep was tough. Added to that were some loud Dutch dudes down in the bar. Something to do with football (soccer) we think. Their party went on until about 1:00AM, at which time the bar closed and the party moved out into the street under our window. Lots of loud drunken conversation. Eventually we shushed them and they apologized, roaring off into the night in their cars (shudder). Absolute silence ensued and we managed to sleep a bit.

Today's ride: 65 km (40 miles)
Total: 65 km (40 miles)

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