Blazing Toward Burgundy - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

May 6, 2022

Blazing Toward Burgundy

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I’ve been planning to leave Paris for Burgundy in other week or so for relaxing visits and cycling with friends. If you haven’t been paying attention, don’t worry – there’s been a change in plans.

 Two factors colluded to alter my plans. The first factor was a change at the start of my trip. I was originally planning to spend next weekend visiting Carla and Alex in Noyers, a medieval town in Burgundy; however, Carla’s work schedule became cluttered and we postponed the Noyers weekend until early June. The second factor is that I am sorely missing being on the road. There are so many areas of France to explore on a bike and I fear that between visitors and my planned travels to other countries there won’t be enough French cycling during this eight month stay – sounds a bit preposterous, I know. The bottom line is that I decided to add a pre-tour to my Burgundy trip, a ten-day journey through some of the regional nature parks in central France.

 In brief, the plan is to travel by train to Angoulême and bike to Feuillade where I’m booked for my third visit at Saint Alfonso’s – home of the famous pancakes. I then begin trailblazing through regional parks on my way to Beaune, passing through at least a part of five: Parc naturel régional Périgord-Limousin; Parc naturel régional de Millevaches en Limousin; Parc naturel régional des Volcans d'Auvergne; Parc naturel régional Livradois-Forez; and Parc naturel régional du Morvan.

I’ve spent the last couple of days furiously route planning – a task complicated by the general scarcity of towns and places to stay. And when I do locate lodging, more often than not there is no nearby restaurant or place to shop for food. Based on the available options, I managed to cobble together a route that looks fairly reasonable in terms of distance and elevation. There are a few challenging days, but they will help in readying me to tackle the Julian Alps next month.

In addition to route planning, I managed to squeeze in a lunch and museum date with Carla and Alex as well as a new pair of off-bike trail runners and a haircut. It’s amazing how much an upcoming bike tour cuts into one’s idle time.

Planned route
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Rachael AndersonWhat a great mini tour!
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3 months ago
Enjoying some Pho at Hanoi 1988, a great little spot on Île de la Cité
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Taking a break at Musée d'Orsay - Carla with Baby Dinosaur and Alex
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Baby Dinosaur with François Pompom’s l’Ours Blanc
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At Musée d'Orsay
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For my Vincent
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Vivien George - ready to hit the road
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I previously visited Angoulême at the start of my 2019 tour of southwest France, and you can find more detail about the city here. I find this “Ville d”Image” to be a charming town, full of comics, cartoons, and characters. The city has a Comic Strip Museum and the Angoulême International Comics Festival is the third largest in the world. Another tidbit for lovers of Wes Anderson films, his latest movie, The French Dispatch, was filmed in Angoulême.

 The train trip from Paris to Angoulême was not totally anxiety-free, but worked out fine. I arrived a little past six and after checking in at my lodging I headed up the hill to the older part of town in search of food. With a bit of luck and Google, I stumbled into Le comptoir de Brice where I enjoyed an excellent dinner sitting at a small outside table. Fantastic food and interesting characters – it’s great to be back on the road.

Angoulême Cathedral
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Angoulême Cathedral
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Hôtel de Ville, Angoulême
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ann and steve maher-wearyWe were in Angoulême in the fall for a night only because we ended up at a bus stop about an hour from Angoulême in a downpour with another cycle touring couple from Holland who were also sheltering from the the rain and they told us we had to stop there because they just loved it. So we went and spent a night and will definitely go back.
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2 months ago
An amazing first course of marinated trout on a blini with all sorts of citrus - and a nice bonnet with flowers
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Georges Remi, aka Hergé, the creator of The Adventures of Tintin, one of the most popular European comic series of the 20th century.
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Keith AdamsHe looks to me a lot like Will Rogers, with Abraham Lincoln's hair...
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3 months ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
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Suzanne GibsonWonderful! Great flexible planning!
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3 months ago
Scott AndersonWoo, hoo! Anxious to follow along. Most of this is terre inconnue to me.
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3 months ago
Christiane PeratoSusan tu es extraordinaire... je te cherche à Paris et Hop ! comme Tintin, le globe trotter, tu es déja envolée pour le Limousin ! Je vais devoir m'acheter un vélo. Le plus dûr ce sera de pédaler derrère toi... J'attends la uite de tes aventures. Bonne route
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3 months ago