Agen to Moissac 52 km

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Today we had a late start from Agen, but we needed to find a market for provisions. We couldn’t find one that was open so we settled on a bakery who sold sandwiches. After a quick cup of coffee and a couple of miniature croissants we made it to the bike path by 1030. No worries since Moissac is only 52 km down the canal. A leisurely ride with a hotel booked at the other end.

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On the canal we kept passing another couple, Marilyn and Warren from Ottawa, whom we eventually befriended. We bonded even closer when we encountered Marilyn with a flat tire. Allan helped them fix the tire while I gawked in amazement at my husbands skill and expertise. Between the 4 of us we had all the tools and patches required for the operation.

While chatting with Marilyn we swapped stories of our lodging the night prior. It was difficult finding accommodations in Agen even though I had booked months in advance. Marilyn explained that there was a Firemans conference where the French president would be in attendance. As a matter of fact, most accommodations within a 40 mile radius were booked. That would explain why so many of the streets were closed off. The Ottawa couple found shelter in a farmers tear shaped camper. Suddenly our nights stay at “Le Secret 47” sounded like a mansion.

We also befriended another couple from England who were biking the canal by renting a car and staying at gites. They would transport their bikes to the section of the Garonne canal that they wanted to explore for the day. When done they would pack the bikes back on the car and return to their gite.

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We took a brief stop at a campground near Valence to eat our sandwiches. Marilyn had given us one of their tomatoe and brie sandwiches that the farmers wife had packed for them. She also had loaded us up with grapes from the farm. We ate that first and it was honestly one of the best sandwiches that we have ever had!

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After lunch we explored the campground which had a building Abattoir Public (public slaughterhouse). The date on the structure said 1882. The building now seems to be used as a refuge for campers and cyclist. Inside was complete with big red meat hooks.

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We made it to Moissac around 4:00pm. Our accommodation at Le Pont Nepoleon was wonderful. This hotel is a small family run business with only nine rooms and a restaurant downstairs. It was very easy to find right off the canal. Also we were only charged 63 euros including breakfast.

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We had time to explore the town of Moissac in the early evening. We headed toward the Saint-Pierre Abbey ( Abbatiale Saint-Pierre). We did a quick look and see then settled in for dinner at a nearby cafe.

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