I need sleep: Clermont to Aurillac - A Summer Meander Through France - CycleBlaze

July 27, 2015

I need sleep: Clermont to Aurillac

It was a rough night. I have been camped under a chestnut tree, and I never fully managed to get all the chestnuts out from under my mattress pad. Last night was the last straw, and I woke myself up almost every time I moved, finding yet another chestnut. To make my morning complete, I couldn't find my wallet when I woke up. Yarggh! In my panic, I tore apart the tent, and no I didn't find it did I? I ran down to the office, to see if anyone had found it, but they were closed. So I decided to pack up in an orderly way while waiting for them to open. And lo! There is was in the foot of my sleeping bag. How it got there I'll never know, but as the adrenalin drained away, I knew this would not be a stellar day.

After two cups of coffee, I got everything sorted out, and rode down into Clermont Ferrand to the rail station. It had been my intention to cycle further south, but frankly, in my current sleep-deprived state, I didn't think I could make much progress. So I decided to take the first train to wherever it was going, and that proved to be Aurillac. Drowsing on the train, I made the executive decision to get a cheap hotel room when I got there. Arriving just at lunch time, I coasted down the hill from the station into the center where there was a hotel restaurant. "Yes, I'll take it" I said, and after changing into street clothes, I ate whatever was on the menu du jour, went back up to my room and slept for an hour or two.

Aurillac is a lovely small city, with a big park in the center, lots of stores, and a nice museum. I visited the later before returning to the hotel for supper, and early to bed.

Marianne is one of France's national symbols. Here she is in a rather beligerant pose, holding aloft the arrows of the Droits de la Homme (rights of man). Aurillac center.
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For you cycling freaks, a bike from about 1905. It has one Bowden cable brake on the rear wheel, and only one gear. Aurillac museum
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More bike stuff. This one is a gentleman's "touring" model from about 1920. One gear, but a back-pedal brake.
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Last bike photo. A jersey from the 1960's. Those of you who remember Jaques Antequil, the first man to win five tours de France, might recognize this.
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Today's ride: 9 km (6 miles)
Total: 162 km (101 miles)

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