Direct Link to this page

The "C" in France -- 26 days from Paris to Avignon
Day 17: St. Severin to Limeuil

Date Starting Place Ending Place Author Last Update

05-22-08 St. Severin,
Poutou-Charentes, France
Dordogne, France
ray 02-11-10 09:39:39

My original plan called for me to head due south of Angouleme to Bergerac, where I had a host lined up. After losing a day due to the crash, I decided to angle over to the Dordogne River instead of heading south and then east.

While I was still very sore when I woke up, it wasn't from riding. In addition, it occurred to me that I would need to add more protein to my diet to account for the healing I was asking my body to do. I went out to buy the day's food and decided to make eggs for breakfast. I bought some bread and stopped at the pharmacy to pick up some vitamins. I learned something while I was there. The man behind the counter said he spoke English, so I asked for some vitamins. He looked puzzled and asked if that was some brand name. I started describing what I wanted "pill, take one a day, minerals." When he understood what I wanted, he said "Oh, vitamins" with a French accent. I resolved in the future when I didn't know the French word for something to say the English one with a French accent and see if that worked.

I came back to the hotel, made breakfast, and doddled a bit while I waited for my clothes to dry. I hadn't had a chance to wash in Angouleme and I was down to my last pair of clean cycling pants. Here they are hanging out by the pool in the sun.

Eventually, I packed up, and left. While I believed I could, I wasn't sure that I had a full 60 mile day in me. I didn't have a stopping point in mind. I was going to point toward the Dordogne River and see what the day brought.

I entered the Department of the Dordogne about 1 kilometer past St. Severin.

In this part of France, the rivers tend to flow toward the west. Since I was going southeast, I was going up out of and down into river valleys all day. The area was well-watered and had the usual trees and farm field scenery.

I was still captivated by the poppies that littered the road side. This patch was just too pretty to pass.

What can I say, this one called out for a picture, too.

It seems I could have taken this picture every day. But, not only does it show the forest I was riding through, but also that it was an uphill grade.

The views through the trees at the top of a rise, was always attractive, if quite similar to scenes I'd seen all along.

This small fern patch caught my eye.

One obstacle I had to cross was the l'Isle river that has two major highways tracing its southern side. I crossed at St. Astier. On my way down the hills into the town, I saw a wallet sitting on the road. I stopped and went back to it and found that it was empty of money and ID, but didt have an ATM card and a handful of coins, maybe 10 Euros. While I was temped to pocket the change, I decided to turn the wallet into the local police who could use the ATM card to find its owner.

I was hoping that there would be signs to the police but could only find directions to the Tourist Info center. I figured I could find a place to stay for the night and turn in the wallet there. The TI was in the middle of town and staffed by a friendly, talkative agent who agreed to take the wallet (and all its change) to the police for me.

It was 3:30pm and I had ridden 25 miles, so far. I felt good so I wanted to try for the Dordogne River, about 35 miles away. I had a good time joking around with the TI agent and when I told her of my plans, she suggested Limeuil, a village on the Dordogne river. She called and got me a reservation for the night at a hotel there.

With that, I rode around the small town center and bought some more bread and food. I crossed the l'Isle and was soon climbing the hills on the other side of the valley.

The next 25 miles would be on small roads up and down though rural France.

I started getting tired with about 10 miles to go. I remember taunting the hills, shaming them for forcing an injured bike rider to ride so many hills. I was yelling things like "Is this the best you've got? It doesn't matter what you do, I'm going to make it to the Dordogne River. I'm injured and this is the worst you can do?"

Finally, after 7pm, I climbed the last hill and sighted the Dordogne River.

Limeuil is just to the left of he bridge in the distance.

Limeuil is on the top of a hill and the ride up to it was so steep that I had to walk the final 50 yards up the road. The hills were surrounded by trees that I rode through to get to the village.

Limeuil is an old village with very few facilities. The hotel I was staying at was primitive and I was the only one on my whole floor. I walked around the village to check it out but saw only homes and restaurants.

Here is the village church.

When I walked all the way down the hill to the river, I found a few stores, mostly selling art or real estate. I have no idea where the residents of Limeuil bought bread or groceries. Here is a view of the bridge and river.

The sun set at 9:30pm. There wasn't much color, but it is a nice view, anyway.

Luckily, I had enough food for both tonight's dinner and tomorrow's breakfast. I walked back up the steep hill to the hotel, made pasta for dinner, read a bit, and went to sleep.

Return to Journal      Return to Home Page

If you find an error, have any ideas for new features or thoughts about the current ones, please send me an email.

Words and Images Copyright © 2010 by Ray Swartz
Website Copyright © 2009 by Ray Swartz