Cycling Southwest France - Biking the Dordogne
Description and Planning of the Trip
Choosing the itinerary and the route. Getting information from a guidebook, maps, software, and the web. Thinking about roads and elevations. Packing for the trip. My highlights and lowlights of the trip.
Day 1 - St-Emilion to Bergerac
Starting in a tiny picturesque, cobblestoned town on top of a hill. Biking through vineyards. Having trouble with a bike. Pretty roads alongside the Dordogne River. Some boring final miles into Bergerac, where the old town exceeds our expectations. Statues of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Day 2 - Bergerac to Les Eyzies
Biking on a tree-covered road on a ridge overlooking the river. Lunch in a charming town across the river. Some hills and then past cliffs dotted with prehistoric caves as we enter Les Eyzies.
Day 3 - Les Eyzies to Montignac
A visit to the National Museum of Prehistory. Detour to La Madeleine, where cliffs overlooking the river have ancient caves and a castle from the middle ages. The town of Montignac on the river Vezere, where I have memories of two dogs.
Day 4 - Montignac to Sarlat
An exhausting climb to the famous cave of Lascaux with its prehistoric paintings. Across lonely, deserted roads, up hills, and finally into the town of Sarlat -- one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. Outdoor restaurants fill the narrow streets on a perfect evening of deep colors.
Day 5 - Sarlat to Vitrac
Through the busy crowds on market day in Sarlat, across a ridge and to the hotel in Vitrac. From there a loop featuring the hilltop town of Domme.
Day 6 - Vitrac to Rocamadour
Biking along the Dordogne on a misty morning. Finding a delightful bike path. Up big hills to the spectacular cliff setting of Rocamadour.
Day 7 - Rocamadour to Cahors
Biking due south on deserted, hilly roads to get to Cahors. Seeing the ancient bridge there that defended the city in the middle ages.
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