After a peaceful sleep in a pine forest, we had a lazy bike ride into Dax, stopping halfway to buy milk and make our morning coffee. Dax is famous for its hot springs but, aside from flying by a few fountains fed by the thermal waters, we didn’t see much of the baths. Instead we stopped to catch up on a bit of internet, something we’ve had a hard time tracking down in the last few days. From Dax we cycled to the outskirts of the city, where we found a beautiful picnic park in the village of Berceau de Saint Vincent de Paul.
The name gives away its history: the birthplace of Saint Vincent. After our lunch we wandered over to the visitor centre where the nun in charge showed us a film about Saint Vincent – remembered largely for his charitable work – and then we visited his house of birth and a chapel dedicated to his memory. When we returned to collect our bicycles the cheery nun asked us if we’d eaten. She wanted to invite us to lunch and offer us a place to stay for the night. The skies were turning rather dark and threatening rain. We were touched by the offer but instead decided to carry on as we’d arranged to stay with someone in a town up the road tomorrow and had a few kilometers to check off if we wanted to make that meeting.
Our afternoon was spent cycling down dead straight roads through forests of tall, lean pine trees. It appears the area is cultivated by forestry companies. Somehow we managed to keep just ahead of the rain until late in the day we found a campsite to pitch up in.