Bordeaux to Meilhan-sur-Garonne - Melo Vélo Meanderings - CycleBlaze

June 16, 2018

Bordeaux to Meilhan-sur-Garonne

Today we start our journey to the Mediterranean Sea.  

Leaving Bordeaux, we crossed the Pont Saint-Jean and hopped on the Roger Lapébie bike path to Sauveterre.  I had visited Bordeaux during my time in France three years ago, and one of my favorite biking memories was an early morning ride on the Roger Lapébie trail. It was a delight to be back on the trail, though I did miss the downhill return to Bordeaux from Créon!

Today was the opening game for France in the World Cup.  At our mid-morning stop in Créon for coffee and lunch provisions, you could feel the excitement and anticipation. Folks started gathering at the cafe, which was broadcasting the game - and all were abuzz.  During the game, the trail and roads emptied, and we passed by houses where family and friends were gathered round the TV.  France beat Australia, and all was good in the land.

We enjoyed our picnic lunch trailside, sitting on the grass. While finishing up Carolyn noticed a Western Whip Snake crossing the nearby road, heading toward us, head raised and looking about.  As it neared, I declared lunch over and gathered everything up.  Our departure was briefly delayed by a large group of roller-bladers - 15 or more.  They were moving right along and we followed them down the trail for a bit before passing, with care.

Carolyn ready to start her French cycling adventure
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Onward to Séte - Norway will have to wait for another trip
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Old railway tunnel just past Créon
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Western whip snake attempting to crash our picnic lunch
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After Sauveterre, the route headed south, winding through the vineyards. We crossed the river and joined the Canal du Garonne at La-Réole, where we stopped for a short rest and cold drink.  From here, we would follow the Canal des Deux Mers, the route along the the Canal du Garonne and Canal du Midi, which would take us to the Mediterranean. 

Cycling amidst the vineyards of Aquitaine
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We reached the Canal du Garonne near La Réole
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Our destination that day was an auberge in Meilhan-sur-Garonne, a small town perched high above the canal.  The route crossed the canal just before the town; however the road to the town was barricaded by fencing and trailers.  There had been a landslide, and though the path seemed passable, the signs were a bit foreboding.  The only route up to town, it seemed, was a long staircase through the woods.  Our fears were confirmed by a fisherman, who had just descended the staircase. Before embarking on such an arduous trip, I called the auberge for further confirmation of the staircase option. Her opinion was that the risk was overblown and that we should just push through.  And so we did!  Shortly, we were at the auberge where we enjoyed a long shower and nice evening meal.

Just push through!
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Ann DiamondYes!! Push through!!
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5 years ago
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Opening into the forbidden zone
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Through the barricade and into forbidden territory
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Today's ride: 56 miles (90 km)
Total: 602 miles (969 km)

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