52km Morcenx-Bourg to Moustey

All night we heard the drip-drip-drip of rain on our tent. It was still going strong when we woke up and reluctantly started to think about getting on our bikes again. “Maybe it’s not rain, maybe there’s just some water coming down from the branches of the trees,” Friedel said hopefully. We’ve been very lucky on our trip so far, with only a handful of truly rainy days in eight months of cycling. Our luck ran out this time though and the rain drizzled down throughout the morning, stopping just long enough for us to have lunch in a chilly park, and then starting again in the afternoon as we made our way north. The scenery was as drab as the day: dead-straight roads through pine forests, planted in perfect lines for future logging. The only colour in our day came from the bright flowers and ribbons on May poles, set up for May Day celebrations. Although the day is a holiday here, fresh bread is important enough in France that all the bakers were open and queues of people stretched out the doors, waiting to buy their daily baguette. We couldn’t resist stopping for a treat of pastries to cheer ourselves up and after several minutes in line we settled on two pain-au-raisin (“raisin bread” in English); swirls of pastry with raisins and sugar mixed in the dough. While we waited, we chatted with a Chinese lady selling small bouquets of delicate, white mayflowers to passersby. Early in the afternoon we reached the village of Moustey, little more than a collection of houses along the main road with a bar, café and corner shop. We turned down a side road and found the home of Nicole, someone we contacted through the Warm Showers list of hospitality for cycle tourists. She kindly welcomed us into her warm, dry home set in the woods behind the village and we enjoyed an evening together with a great bottle of wine and a hearty lentil and meat stew. A nice end to an otherwise grey day.


  1. friedel
    10th May 2007 at 11:22 am #

    Road notes: Morcenx is the biggest centre for some way and the best place to stock up on groceries and any other needs. There are a couple supermarkets, a gas station as part of the Intermarché and two bakeries. We left on the D77 to Sabres, which has an Ecomusée that looked interesting. The road to this point was quiet but the D327 to Moustey was rather busier. Pissos had a few restaurants and a public WC in the park by the church.

    What we spent: €12 camping, €8 groceries

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