To Javerlhac for Lunch - Stress-free Cycling the French Countryside - CycleBlaze

September 10, 2019

To Javerlhac for Lunch

It was a day of surprises and revelations. Pancakes for breakfast again – no surprise – but Bérénice and Dieter had two propositions for me. The first proposal was that we walk to Marthon for pizza dinner, to which I readily agreed. The second was that Ruth Ann, a friend of Bérénice, was coming by later this afternoon and she would do Tarot reading for me, also something I was game to try. The rest of the morning I lolled about working on the journal before eventually deciding to bike to Javerlhac for lunch. There appeared to be a couple of options for eating in Javerlhac, and Bérénice suggested Bar du Centre. I left a little after 1 pm, promising to be back by 3 pm when Ruth Ann was due to arrive.

The route to Javerlhac retraced some of what I had ridden yesterday, with the exception that the day was a bit more sunny and warmer.  Approaching La Motte, I came across a trio of calves who had sneaked under the electric fence and were wandering down the road. They seemed mildly interested in me, but scampered back to the safety of Mum. 

I did not waste much time getting to Javerlhac as Bérénice thought lunch service might end at 1:30. When I arrived at Bar de Centre at 1:25, all the outdoor seats were empty and the proprietor was outside enjoying a cigarette. When asked if they were serving lunch, she offered salad or a chicken something, which I did not quite comprehend. I opted for the chicken and a Schweppes. Soon, a plate of heart-shaped chicken nuggets and French fries arrived – now that was a surprise! The only condiment was mustard, which was contained in those small plastic packets that are impossible to open. The nuggets were tasteless, the fries passable, and I couldn’t help but glance wistfully at the boulangerie across the street. In defense of Bérénice, she hadn’t eaten at the place in years, was aghast when I told her about the chicken nuggets. 

Calves on the run
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I wish we could sneak under that fence
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Just can't recommend Bar du Centre for lunch, unless you're a fan of frozen chicken nuggets
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What might have been
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I followed the Flow Vélo the entire way back to Feuillade, mainly on small roads but also on the small section of cycle path east of Feuillade. Along the way, I stopped to check out a waterwheel and cannons I’d seen on the way to lunch. However, there was no information as they were located at a private residence. While snapping some photos, I heard a loud whinny and clomping of feet and turned around to see a very large draft horse lumbering toward me. His pasture was fenced and his ears pointed forward, so he was just there to say hello and maybe ask for help in getting the flies off his face. I kept on task, and pulled into Saint-Alfonso’s courtyard just after Ruth Ann arrived. She and Bérénice had some other matters to attend, so I took my leave to get cleaned up and waited until they were ready.

Every home should have a waterwheel and canon
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Please help get these flies off my face
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Before retiring, I was a scientist and teacher, a career that values reason and critical thinking. I do not consider myself a spiritual person, but am almost always willing to listen to those who feel connected to a spiritual world. Ruth Ann is a few years older than me and is a very spiritual person. Nonetheless, our conversation in the run-up to selecting my cards made it clear that we had several things in common. Thus, I was willing to listen, learn, and participate in the reading of the Tarot. I won’t go into any detail on the cards or their interpretation, but both Ruth Ann and myself found it a quite remarkable experience. One of the things that really surprised me was the large amount of water symbolism in my cards. A number of people have suggested that I include La Rochelle and Île de Ré on this tour - based on my Tarot reading, I’ll be heading that way! 

My Tarot draw - three were the Coral suit; two were Sparks suit, and one each from the Spiral and Wings
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Ruth Ann and me after the reading - all is good!
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Dieter, Bérénice and I, along with their dog Junior, left Saint-Alfonso’s for the 45 minute walk to Marthon as the dropping sun cast a warm glow over the countryside. We wound along open fields on gravel roads, passed through the forest using a well-worn path, and crossed the Bandiat river on a moss-covered, somewhat sketchy bridge before finally arriving at their local pizza joint. To my surprise, the dinner was their treat – a celebration of my birthday. They would have it no other way. Over the next two hours, we shared two pizzas, a large salad, and our views of America vis-à-vis France. We both love each country and while we did not always agree with each other, there were many more things in common than not. On the way home, our path illuminated by the gibbous moon, it became clear that we had developed a mutual friendship and caring for each other. My purposefully slow beginning to this tour has nourished me in many ways, and I am ready to venture forth. 

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Today's ride: 13 miles (21 km)
Total: 69 miles (111 km)

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