We awoke in Bordeaux and loaded the panniers. It was the first time we had ever used panniers and it took some fiddling to pack our one backpack into the two panniers evenly weighted.
The bikes were left in the narrow hall overnight that led into the spiral staircase of the apartment. Thankfully no one complained about the tight squeeze to get by the bikes. I heard some young ladies descending the floor above us and I hurried to meet them and to apologize for blocking the hall but they went by so fast I never saw them. So, no worries.
The bikes were loaded and off we went through near empty streets. The day before was congested with Sunday walkers and cyclists. The canal to St. Jean Pont was now a breeze and the Browns were averaging 22 km per hour aside the canal. The tourist area immediately turned, non- tourist and we were told later that this was the part of town to avoid after dark. This section is about 10 km of industrial buildings and soon it’s more rural bordering the canal to Latresne. We made it to Creon, our first potential over night stop, and halfway point, by 1130 so we pressed on after some coffee.
At Latresne you enter the town on your left, before an immediate right onto the famed Roger Lapebie cycle path and we overshot it. I saw the sign and it was too late to turn so I hit the brakes and heard a senior citizen watching us snort something I interpreted as ” idiot “. He was right, it’s a hard sign to miss.
Roger Lapebie was a famed racing cyclist who won the 1937 Tour de France. The bike path is for bikes and foot traffic only. No cars are allowed and the road signs are scaled down in height and size for cyclists. The pathway follows an old rail way line and it cuts through the countryside, vineyards and fields. It is quiet, well maintained and there are no highways nearby.
At one point we entered a 500 yard long curved tunnel with motion activated lights that illuminate each section as you approach it. However the lights would delay long enough so that you were literally riding in the dark for a couple of seconds before the lights for that section came on. I could not resist making spooky noises while riding it. The acoustics allowed Marla and I to talk in a normal volume to each other while she fussed with her phone from opposite ends of the tunnel. Neat.
It’s the best bike path I’ve ever been on for 32 glorious km. Unlike the well signed bike path, the route to our Bed and Breakfast was not. You know it’s bad when the post office gives you the wrong direction. Doris our psychotic GPS was spitting out different directions at each stop. A local was baffled even after calling the owner. We were at a crossroad with this local and to help with the communication I drew a simple map of two crossed lines and his house on on the corner. I held the pen to him and gestured for which way, he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. He didn’t know which way to point us.
We headed back into town and got great map from the gift shop owner and arrived at the bed and breakfast within 20 min. The owner was not there, but his neighbor who was then called him. He was not expecting us because we did not confirm our confirmation to our reservation. Confirm your confirmation? The room was to be ready in 3 hours as he was still at work. All the restaurants in town were closed for the afternoon or for the season and we ate food from the market. After 77 km it was a delicious meal and company was good.
Our hosts were a wonderful couple, the room was great and we had a very nice quiet wifi free evening and another travel adventure story.