Here we go again!

Nervous anticipation? Crap pillows? Hot room? Whatever the reason I slept very badly last night. I could not get comfortable and tossed and turned so I was relieved when daylight arrived and I could justify getting out of bed.

As is the case with most Bike Adventure trips we were first to breakfast. We knew that we would be stringing breakfast out as we would all depart together. Here we are, clean, eager and pristine!

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Left to right: Jamie, Barbara, Elizabeth, Gordon, Sharron, Martin, Lisette, Suni, Johnno, Tony and Mike

We all departed Bordeaux together, with Tony and I leading out due to the fact that we ‘knew’ the area and because we were familiar with the way around the roadworks that impeded the route instructions.

As you can see from the photo, we all have wet weather gear on. It was about 10 degrees Celsius, so quite fresh!

Mike has asked us to take our time today. In Europe check in to accomodation is quite late, and tonight’s was 4 pm. Today was a short ride of 74 km meaning we would take it really easy, and not push at all, otherwise we would be there late morning and make ourselves unpopular on day 1!

Reality is this will happen each day as the distances are shorter than previous trips such as London to Venice.

We pootled out the bike pathway passing Latresne and heading into La Sauve, up last the Abbey we had visited only a few days before. The rain was a steady drizzle.

The road undulated through vineyards and beech woods with a couple of short but steep little pinch of climbs.

Passing through the village of Capian at the 37 km point we continued with the theme of undulations and vineyards.  The following pictures are from near Cardan (41.8 km)

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We descended into Cadillac where we planned to have lunch. We found Andy in the Bike Adventures van and we entered the bastide village via one of its remaining ancient gates that had a marker showing flood heights from Garonne inundations.

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In the village centre we were fortunate enough to find a bloke selling hot chickens from his portable rotisserie. A bargain at five euro! Tony bought himself a half baguette for 47 cents!

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Sitting in the market square eating our five euro chicken

The village shops were quickly shutting down for the day ( being a Sunday) and we could only see one option for a coffee. 4.90 euro for one coffee! You can buy a chicken for that!

We then hopped on our bikes and cruised around checking out the village.

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This chateau seemed deserted and also has a interesting moat

After dragging our heels for as long as possible we were actually getting quite cold. Back onto the bikes and head towards our destination.

Just past Pujols-sur-Chiron we past this ruined chateau surrounded by a lovely, thriving vineyard.

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By the time we arrived in Budos we had warmed up, and no longer needed our rain jackets! Hooray!

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Rain jacket off in Budos

From here the road descended crossing a stream, continuing through a small hamlet and into some woods that continued for about 6 km.

Shortly before entering Villandraut we could not help but to notice this hotel promotion.

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Looking towards Villandraut from the gaudy statue

Fortunately we were able to check into our rooms a bit early. After storing our bikes, laundering our riding gear and showering we wandered through the village.

There is a very impressive chateau that was built in 1305 both as a residential palace and for defensive purposes on the orders of Pope Clement V, who had been born in the village.

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Impressive exterior

The chateau is undergoing archeological work as well as extensive restoration. It is free to visit. We did not take any photos of the interior. Whilst architecturally and historically impressive I was turned off by the plethora of modern, gaudy art that has been placed over the 13th century walls, detracting from their simple magnificence.

So day one done and dusted. We will meet for tea in just over an hour together.

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Today’s route 

Finally, some may think this is the appropriate place for me! Certainly a Frenchman was having a good old laugh at my expense. No matter what is happening in life, you can always find a smile!

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