What a week! Thank you girls, for your good mood and your cooperation! And thank you Ginia for putting this group together. And all you others thanks for joining. It was a pleasure guiding you!
Ursula and Laurens
Our lovely ladies from Colorado who took the inaugural e-bike trip last year are back, and they have brought LOTS of friends for a ride through central France!
Day 8: Figeac - Rocamadour
Our last riding day
A lot of questions like every morning:
- What is the weather like? Answer: look out the window, than you know for the next hour what it will be.
- how many miles have we to do? Answer: miles and kilometers are nearly similar.
- have we a lot of climbs today? Answer: no, this planet is all flat!
So girls, put your rubbers on. Little man in action? Let`s roll!
Naughty Betsy is imitating Ursula`s briefing. The question is, why is everybody laughing?
a stop along the way. No, of course we are not blocking the whole road....
farm roads, Indian summer, thousands of walnut trees - beautiful
Cindy and Carolyn
Janice and Drucie
Donkey photoshooting - you have to know there are not donkeys at all in the US
Jill in pole position. She run out of battery first. Oh, maybe it was a little bit too much cheese, or butter, or beer
lunch in Gramat - perfectly parked this time
the gelato place
this lovely woman opened for us only
and at a sudden we saw it - our final destination - Rocamadour
Drucie is a bit sad that the trip is over
520 km, some kilos of butter, several bottles of wine, loafs of cheese, empty batteries, lots of friendly people who spoilt us, chatting, laughing - what a week!!!
Laurens, Ursula, the Colorado girls and Gaby and Rainer in the background
Rocamadour bei Nacht
Day 7: Viellevie - Figeac
Along the Lot we move westward. Tasty wines thrive at the Riverside. The river was an important transport route linking the Auvergne and Cahors to the wine trade centres of Bordeaux. We reach Conques, which lies hidden in a side valley of the Lot. Nonetheless it is known for its Abbatiale Ste-Foy, an impressive church-historical work of art.
The river Lot rises on the slopes of the Monts Lozère in the Cévennes. It makes its way through the southern central massif for many kilometers. It gently flows in narrow meanders and wide loops. The embankments are covered with chestnut and deciduous forests. This river holds a surprise behind every river bend.
Tamara and Drucie
Betsy and the gang
the power girls at the Cathedral in Conques
Both the Abbey of Conques and the Abbatiale Ste-Foy are church-historical work of art, known all over the country. The stone sculptures are one of the most beautiful works of art of the Middle Ages.
we got a private tour through the pilgrimage hostal and a special concert
Jean-Francois Champollion is the most famous son of Figeac. As the first professor of Egyptology he succeeded in deciphering the hieroglyphs on the famous "Stone of Rosette" from the year 196 BC. Devoured by his work he died at the young age of 42 years. You can visit the museum downtown Figeac.
Day 6: Laguiole - Vieillevie
What a day!!
A beautiful cycling day is ahead of us. In the morning we got the chance to visit a "fromagerie", where the "Tome" is produced. Afterwards we`ll leave Laguiol on small farm roads.The well-known Aubrac cattle graze on the pastures. It is a bit hard to say good-bye to this beautiful landscape. We first roll down into the gorge of the Truyère before we reach the Lot.
The pilgrims called the valley of the Lot “Le premier sourire du Midi” – ‘The first smile of the South’. Authentic villages, medieval castles, Romanesque churches, historic town centers characterize this day.
the cooperative Fromagerie of Laguiole
Laguiole cheese ripening.
A very French coffeestop in St Amans des Cots
Janice, Drucie and Sarah
Laurens has his girls under controll
crossing la Truyère
Jill - ohhh my god, it`s sooo cute
Ginia - the super girl who made it all happen
quiet, awesame landscape, beautiful weather
La Coulée de lava - the girls where so hungry
Our ladies decided to do the long route, so in absence of restaurants we had an improvised picknick at the top of our steepest climb of the day.
Our group at the "Flow of boulders"
Jill, Tamara and Janice with the Lot valley in the background.
Crossing the Lot valley.
ok girls, this is coffee stop
Arriving at our hotel in Viellevie. They have a real Chateau across the road!
and here the recipes for everyone - easy, and you don t need a Thermomix
and just in case somebody forgot - dinner is at 7 p.m. -
Dinner in the Hotel de la Terrasse - what a treat!
Day 5: Bigose - Laguiole
We had to leave our beautiful Gite d`Etappe. The solitary mid-mountain landscape of the Margeride massif now transforms into the region of the southernmost volcano of the Auvergne, the Aubrac plateau. The decaying houses of gray basalt stone show the century-old architecture of the region. The typical breed of the Aubrac cattle, with their big, brown eyes, are everywhere out on the meadows. They are not only delivering the delicious meat but as well the treasured milk for the "Tome", the famous cheese of the Aubrac area. As everywhere else on this planet, landscape forms the character of the people living there. The locals here are used to solitude. They don`t speak so much. And when, than only if there is something important to say.
and up we go
Sarah`s little man is working hard
Betsy - always with a smile
it was a bit drizzling this morning. But once you are dressed properly it is no problem anymore.
Again we meet the Path of St. James. Happy to be on bicycles. There are on their way to Conques. Maybe we`ll meet the tomorrow
Cloudy Aubrac plains
Laguiole is the center of blacksmiths. A manufactory is located directly at the village entrance. Here we can watch blacksmiths going about their work.
cheers Shery and Jill
nobody is on a diet here
in the Forge de Laguiole the blacksmiths at work
Celine in the Best Western gave us a special treat. She introduced us to a local specialty - the Aligot
Day 4: Le Puy - Bigose
The weather was not so good this morning. The girls were also a bit tired. But all hopped on the bikes. We had to climb high above the Allier river this morning and at lunch in Saugues some wanted to load the bike. But after lunch they`d changed their minds. They all climbed up the plains of the Margeride and arrived after 90 km still chatting in our Gite d`Etappe.
The weather was different today, but that didn't make the views worse, quite the contrary!
The mountain village of St Privat d'Allier.
The Beast of Gevaudan: a Legend from the 18th century of a werewolf-like beast killing innocent women and children, is still famous in the region. The villagers set up some gruesome photo opportunities for anyone passing by, good thing we got away safely
Quaint French village streets.
it was a bit wet today. But all arrived in a good mood at the lunch place. The van was ready to shuttle them
all around the fire
like a swarm of bees - everybody hopped on the bike after lunch
the last climb! Go girls - only 5 km left
our Gite looks simple, but it was wonderful. Nice and cosy rooms, delicious food and friendly people
The most typical dish of the Aubrac is "Aligot". You should try it.
Day 3: La Chomette - Le-Puy-en-Velay
Rolling hills, green meadows and quiteness acompanies us to the Lafayette castle. We cycle along the partially several hundred meters deep Allier gorge which is dramatically cut into the surrounding plateau. Langeac is an authentic market spot on the Allier. Le Puy, meaning the summit, dazzles us with its peculiar rocky needles and many interesting legends. We are in the Central Massif. The landscape is volcanic and characterized by gentle hills, forests and pastures. Le Puy-en-Velay the "Tuscany of France" is today's destination.
along the way
Janice and the truffel dogs
Sarah - or Miss Piggy
Two portraits are hanging in the assembly hall in the House of the Representatives in Washington: one of George Washington and one of the Marquis de La Fayette. He was born on the 6th of September 1757 in Chateau Lafayette and is one of seven honorary citizens of the US and probably the most well know French man in the States. This honour is due to his involvement in the American War of Independence. At home he played an important part during the French Revolution. The Arc de Triumph in Paris bears his name. His enforcement of human rights in the “Old” and the “New World” made him a “hero of two worlds”.
and the lady was proud to explain the history of the castle
Carolyn - or Mrs. Pfronten
the chef is waiting at the Allier river with a delicious picnic
What is he thinking? Maybe he is wondering that there is always something to talk about and to giggle
what a picnic spot!
there is a free space between Sarah and Drucie. Whom do we miss? Gaaaaby - where are you? Best regards from Sarah, Drucie, Janice and Tamara
The Gorges de l'Allier is partially cut several hundred meters deep into the canyon-like plateau. The river meanders in wide loops on the granite surface. The partially wooded steep slopes fall down to 500 m. This area becomes more deserted and wilder as we venture on. We are in awe of this breath-taking nature which makes us forget our everyday life.
last leg to Le Puy
Tamara and Drucie and the cathedral Notre Dame in Le Puy
the famous Black Madonna
Le Puy is famous for lace
party again - there is always a reason
Happy birthday Ginia
Happy Birthday Miggie
Day 2: Clermont-Ferrand to La Chomette
At Col De La Croix De Gardes, our highest point at 685m.
first coffee stop in Saint Babel
All the ladies in front of the Chateau de Parentignat. Try saying that three times quickly!
La Basilique de Brioude
in the Salmon Museum
The bridge at Vieille Brioude
Beautiful Auvergne Landscape
Everybody relaxing after a long day!
we had a little excitement - yes they opened up finally only for us
and the wine was included!!!