Same as yesterday…jumped out of bed at 7 am, ran to the balcony to check the weather ( before my coffee). Well I was a tad excited to be met by this!
The plan today was to check out some of the bastide towns. Between 1220 and 1370 the counts of Toulouse and King Edward 1 of England ordered nearly 300 fortified towns ( bastides) be built in southwestern France. They were laid out to a highly rigid formula, established for military, political and economic reasons.
So we undertook the getting out of Bordeaux crawl, crossing the Garonne. After about 5 km we located the bike track and headed out to Creon ( 25 km) , where we had visited a few days before. The plan was coffee and we found a lovely cafe in the town square.
Whilst sitting there enjoying our coffee we notice a very lone figure in a window opposite us. Using the zoom on the camera this is what we found.
There is also a nice little church adjacent to the square.
Next stop was the village of La Sauve-Majeure, which has a Benedictine Abbey founded in 1079, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The abbey is also located on the pilgrim route Santiago de Compostela. Predominantly ruins after a chequered life, the abbey remains majestic in both Romanesque and Gothic styling.
I was quite blown away by the Abbey. There is a link to Eleanor of Aquitaine who was a generous donor of funds in the 1100’s towards the construction costs.
Back onto the bikes and off to the next planned stop, Sauveterre-de-Guyenne, founded in 1283 by Edward II of England. The village is sited in the heart of Entre-deux-Mers, the region between the rivers Dordogne and Garonne. Human settlement has been traced into pre history.
Sauveterre no longer has its ramparts which were destroyed in the early 19th century, but it does still have the 4 corner gates.
We met three groups of cyclists here, including an older group from England, a couple from Australia and New Zealand and two younger guys who were making their baguettes up ready to eat.
After lunch it was about 2.30 pm and the weather had started to close in, dark clouds threatening rain. We decided to beat a retreat back to Bordeaux, some 55 km away.
In the morning we transfer accomodation to Bike Adventures hotel about 1.5 km away. We are unsure if we will get a ride in or not for two reasons. Firstly, we need to see about the transfer of our gear and secondly the weather forecast is uber shite.
Thunderstorms are predicted and I can’t see the point of riding, as it is not a lot of fun! Anyway I am sure when the 7 am alarm goes off I will do my dash to the balcony to check!
Oh, one other thing! We have found out that we will know two of the riders on our ride to Barcelona. Barbara and Jamie from England are part of the group of 10. They were on our team last year from London to Venice.
That is what I love about touring with Bike Adventures, being able to renew acquaintances and share cycling adventures and stories!