83km Saugnac et Muret to Grignols
Today we found a cycle trail that’s worth talking about; the first time we can recommend a bike path since we left Canada way back at the start of our trip. If car drivers wonder why more cyclists don’t take bike paths, it’s because they’re usually in such bad shape (muddy, waterlogged, full of potholes or covered in big stones) or so poorly signposted that they’re not worth the trouble. This time though we discovered a path which runs about 80km all the way from the Atlantic coast to the town of Bazas, is paved and has plenty of signs and picnic areas along its length. It was a real joy to cycle on and we made good time zipping through the peaceful forest route. That was the good side to the day. The less successful side of our travels involved food, or rather not enough of it. We try and keep extra essentials like pasta in our panniers in case of bad weather or a long rural stretch but a couple days of trekking through forests and small villages meant we were already running low when rain hit yesterday. We gobbled everything while we waited out the weather in the campground, right down to the last stock cube, and we were still in a rural area. When we finally rolled up to a supermarket just after lunch the doors were already closed for their midday siesta. Somehow we made the distance into Bazas with our tummies grumbling all the way. No wonder. By this time we’d done as many kilometers as we often do in a whole day. With our hunger finally satisfied we did a little tour of the historic centre of Bazas and its cathedral, before heading down the road again. In Grignols we headed for the all-year campground advertised in a brochure, only to find it was a municipal site that was closed and didn’t look like it had been operating for several years, if the 2002 price list on the bulletin board at the entrance was to be believed. We didn’t think anyone would mind if we tucked ourselves away in a corner so that’s just what we did, getting our tent up a few minutes before the rain started to come down again. It’s turning out to be a wet spring ride across Europe!