Rochefort to La Rochelle - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 17, 2018

Rochefort to La Rochelle

Sunday in the Sun

June 17 Sunday 43kms

Rochefort to La Rochelle 

Sunday in the Sun

One Jeunese does get up early to see L’Hermione come up the river. One looks out the window. In the quiet morning there is a buzz of excitement as small crowds gather at vantage points. Cheers and waves are rewarded with cannon fire from the deck. The three masts and rigging look magnificent.

The original Jacques Demy film, ‘Les Demoiselles de Rochefort’ begins with a scene in which the cast cross the Seudre on the suspended platform.
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Early morning arrival from Bordeaux.
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By the time we reach Rochefort, she is safely berthed and a celebration is underway. Flags, a band, and a brocante market in the Main Street bring out the locals and their berets. We make a gentle circuit past the naval college and the Quai then out to the golden countryside.

Early morning entertainment.
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Rochefort docks
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Toy soldiers on sale at market.
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Horses on the Marais.
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One of several large falcons searching for prey.
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We reach the coast where many a serious lunch is being enjoyed. 

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Reassurance.
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There are family picnics in parks, restaurants are full, sunbathers brave the wind and ignore the tide which is well out. The cottages are colourful and gardens bright with hollyhocks, lavender, yellow daises.

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The cycle path comes quite close to diners- occasionally we feel like gate crashers.
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Entry to La Rochelle is along this sandy path. Fortunately, the sand is reasonably compacted.
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The gap almost looks like a painting.
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A greenway leads us via modern housing suburbs to old La Rochelle beside les quais, boats galore, and ancient towers edging the water. Everything seems within reach. 

La Rochelle.
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La Rochelle has beautiful walking areas around the water.
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The O of T informs us that Camping Municipal is not open yet. Next place, La Verger is 45 mins away and has opened earlier than advertised. But we do want to see this enticing town we’ve read so much about. A quick visit to the WWW and we have a room in the old quarter.

Our hotel - room with a view on 2nd floor.
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More than a hint of a nautical theme.
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With some variation.
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Once the panniers are off loaded, we free wheel around the cobbled streets, narrow arcaded lanes, past merchant houses, lighthouses and the fortified port. In the Jardin du Museum some flowering NZ hebes catch our attention. Crowds of people out walking, cycling, playing boules, sitting in cafes but there is plenty of space. Great atmosphere.

La Rochelle Gare.
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Masts of yachts like a forest.
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Our bikes are put to bed in reception in the late evening and we aussi, upstairs.

Today's ride: 43 km (27 miles)
Total: 1,265 km (786 miles)

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