Day 1 – Zarautz to Bergerac
This was essentially a transit day so we covered a fair distance for us to date. 350klms. It was a very enjoyable day with the weather perfect and the temps in the low 20s.
We left early and were looking for a place to have morning tea around 10am. Welcome to France, nothing’s open in town except the local pub. They did have a good taste in sport tho with a Maori All Black shirt on show as well a poster of the All Blacks doing the HAKA.
I made a fair effort in planning the day’s travel to stay off the main roads which only added 30 klms but took an extra 3 hours. It was certainly worth it as we travelled some remote roads through some great rural areas with late harvests and pre winter plowing under way.
We stopped at Losse, an out of the way cafe, for a magnificent 4 courses of local cuisine which took care of all food needs for the day and all for E15 each. Lovely.
On to Bergerac arriving around 5pm. We had a leisurely wander around this 800 year old town.
Day 2 – Bergerac to Sarlat-la-Caneda
We had a late start today as we were only doing 110 klms for the day. It was a day of great winding roads as we immersed ourselves in France’s medieval history.
From Bergerac to Lalinde for morning tea where it was market day beside the Dordogne River and everyone was in town.
Through Le Bugue with it’s amazing old cliff side / cave dwellings and following the Vezere River with it’s limestone vistas.
The most famous cave in the area is the Lascaux II which is an exact replica of the protected original only 200m away. Discovered in 1948 it has some of the most amazing rock art in the world. These pics thanks to Google.
On through some more beautiful country both rural and bush
to the wonderful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda with it’s usual ‘old town’.
An easy day of 110 klms.
Day 3 Sarlat-la-Canéda to St.-Cirq-Lapopie
Today was another lovely clear and cool day as we rode from town to town along the Dordogne River before making a jog south to the Lot River and our overnight accomodation below the ancient hilltop town of St.-Cirq-Lapopie.
We started by heading south to Beynac-et-Cazenac, a classic medieval hill top village, and the castle that housed the French while Castelnaud just across the river housed the English during the 100 year war of the 12th century. Crazy stuff but a lovely place to stop for our road/riverside breakfast.
From here on through La Rogue-Gageac, Domme and Souillac. The ride was gorgeous with precipitous limestone cliffs and outcroppings framing these overhanging old French villages.
From Souillac it’s south to Rocamadour an ancient pilgrim town clinging to the side of a sheer cliff with the house above the river and the church above the houses and the chateau / castle above all of it. Crazy but spectacular. We took 2 hours to wander, drink coffee and climb a million stairs.
Then we took a left then a right and south with just the right amount of twisties thrown in to St.-Cirq-Lapopie an idyllic hilltop town perched on the south bank of the Lot River. Another crazy ancient place that we walked up to then down from and had dinner on the river.
A really great day of 165 klms we both agreed.
Day 4 St.-Cirq-Lapopie to Treignac
Today’s travels took us through rivers, lakes and mountains and what many consider to be the heart of old France as well as being geographically so.
We chased the Lot River east to Carjac and then onto Figeac for breakfast where it was once again market day.
Then on to St. -Cere and Gimel-les-Cascades with it’s waterfalls and derelict fortress.
From Gimel we took many a winding and narrow road through bush land and countryside towards Treignac.
But all was not right in Moto Guzzi Stelvio land. There was just a bit too much movement through the corners and sure enough the rear tyre was found to be flat 15 klms short of our destination. More than flat, wrecked would be more like it. The casing had split in places.
Pumped it up and limped into Treignac on a Saturday afternoon. If you know France you know we’re going to be here for a while waiting for a new tyre. Hopefully someone will respond tomorrow which will be Monday as it’s now Sunday.
Not a great end to a very enjoyable day of 196 klms
Watch this space 🙂