Villandraut to Barbotan-les-Thermes

An 8 am breakfast hosted by an irrepressible Frenchman who had  quickly figured my name out and kept calling me “Madame Sharron”. He was keen to talk to an Aussie as his daughter is studying economics at the University of Melbourne.

As we were leaving  I had great fun trying to get him to pronounce “ooroo”.

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Ronan the friendly Frenchman

Wet weather gear was the order of the morning with light drizzle. Leaving Villandraut at about 9 am with the ultimate destination being the spa town of Barbotan-les-Thermes.

We rode through Prechac (7.1 km) and just before Les Gilets (11.9 km) we noted Chateau Cazeneuve on the left.

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Not bad!

To try and string the day out we planned to stop for coffee at the very first village that had something open. We had been on some gently undulating roads through woods arriving in Bernos-Beaulac (16.6 km), Cudos (21.1 km) and then Lerm et Musset (31.4 km).

We noted the Bike Adventures van with Mike aboard outside a small tabac. 2 cups of coffee later we were back on the road in continuing drizzle.

At Goulade (33.8 km) there is an interesting old church. It looks bigger front on as it has an impressive facade.

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Goulade

After Ciscos (40.1 km) we were riding through miles and miles of Gascon forests for some 15 km. During that time it stopped raining!! Hooray!!

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We found Mike on the side of the road in Saint Gor and whilst chatting had some snacks and told him we would likely stop at either St Justin (76.3 km) or La Bastide D’Armagnac (80.3 km). I was keener on the latter, based purely on name alone!!

St Justin was a quaint village but asleep. No one was to be seen! The few shops that existed were closed ( very common in France this time of day).

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St Justin
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The dungeon at St Justin, assume no longer in use!

La Bastide D’Armagnac was only 4 more km up the road. Wow, what an impressive old bastide town from the 1100-1200’s.

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The 1200’s church dominates the square

 

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We had lunch under this arch

We had a very tasty lunch at a crepe cafe. Raw egg, cheese, ham, mushrooms on the lightest crepe I have ever tasted.

The shop next door sold a wide range of Armagnac. If it had been open I may have been tempted to have a taste!

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Just as we were finishing up the tandem girls rocked up with Jonno. He was hungry, but the girls don’t eat whilst riding. We followed them up the road to the Notre Dame Des Cyclistes.

I was really looking forward to this visit. Unfortunately it is closed on Mondays so we walked around the outside.

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It was only another 14 km to our accomodation in the spa town so off we went in search of a warm shower.

Barbotan-les-Thermes is a curious village, with a very large spa facility. It seems to attract old people ( and I mean people significantly older than me!) to their so called therapeutic waters allegedly capable of curing everything!

I watched a man limp out! I thought, well he is not cured! But then maybe he could not walk at all when he went in.

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Looking through the windows, we noted exercise bikes in the thermal waters. Obviously not popular! 
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Barbotan ancient gateway

 

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Reverse view of the gateway 

So now we kill some time waiting for dinner! Looking forward to some tucker but we are not due to be seated until 730 pm!!

Today was a 97 km ride, at touring pace. It was very pleasant as we work our way south towards Spain, and hopefully, no more rain!

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Today’s route
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Entrance

5 thoughts on “Villandraut to Barbotan-les-Thermes

  1. The application of ‘Madame’ is easily justified – ‘Madame’ as in keeper of the bordello (makes sense!!) …..or just straight Madame (Lash) keeper of all others on the straight and narrow!!
    Boy sure rains a lot on this expedition!!… but the scenery is looking better.
    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

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