19 Jul You come from America??!!
Day 129/130 ( 15/16 July 2013) – The weather has been very hot the last few weeks. Temperatures in the mid 30s Celsius are the norm lately. This makes shopping for food a little more challenging…since nobody likes food poisoning! We also try to get an early start in the morning, because shortly after noontime, we are ready to take a break in the shade somewhere or are ready to call it quits. This makes for slow forward traveling.
After leaving Blaye, we decide to stay on small country roads to head more north. We ride along vineyards and chateaus; we spot some old churches while winding our way through some little villages along the shoreline of the estuary. Traffic is quiet and the few car drivers we encounter are very pleasant and give us lots of room on the narrow roads.
Our goal was to make it to one of the “most beautiful villages of France” as our tourist map likes to call the town of Talmont-sur-Gironde.
Outside of town, we ride to the top of a small cliff, from where we can overview the shoreline of the estuary, which is bedecked by many little fishing huts on stilts, called carrelets. Also, we can spot the old church and the village from this viewing point. At mid afternoon we finally make into Talmont-sur-Gironde where we push our bikes through the narrow alleyways of town. Tall colorful flowers are lining all the walkways and an abundance of more beautiful flowers are decorating every nook and cranny of the village. We also visit the ancient church in town, before inquiring about another campground at the information stand.
The ladies at the information stand are a little surprised to find out that we are a couple from America traveling through this part of France on bicycles, and they are happy to help us find a campground about a mile from town.
At the campsite, we find another even more surprised attendant to sign us into the campsite: “You come from America on bikes??!!” Apparently, it did not take long for us to become the talk of the campsite. Soon we have more people come by our tent, asking us about our journey and wishing us good luck for the future.
The next day we continue on to Rochefort. The scenery changes from mostly vineyards to corn-, sunflower-, and wheat-fields. We are not sure whether the heat is getting to us, or whether 4 months on the road is starting to catch up with us. But for some reason we are just not “feeling” it today.
We feel a little grumpy and short tempered and conversations along the way are short lived.
Luckily, the ride to Rochefort is easy, flat and somewhat short.
Again, our mood lightened up a little when the office clerk at the municipal campground had difficulty putting us into their computer and greeted us with another:” You are from America on a bicycle??!!”
Maybe we need a little break…lets see, what kind of plans we come up with here…