After a good nights sleep and an excellent breakfast we settled up with Madame Duranteau, a bargain at 70euros, retrieved our Velos from the garage and headed downhill to the Voie Vert Roger Lapeblie. The surface had been amazing but unfortunately the Voie vert finished at Sauveterre with an as yet unfinished route from there to La Reole and the Canal de la Garonne. At Sauveterre we resorted to taking the D 670 as although we found 1 sign directing us to La Reole we could not see any others.
We stopped for lunch at La Reole by the river Garonne.
Cycle touring along the canal is a great experience the surface is well maintained and there are loads of information boards and direction signs to help you on the journey. Many of the ex lock keepers cottages have been converted into cafes, Chambre de hotes and private residences.
The canal was quite busy with leisure vessels many of which were hired and the canal path was busy with cyclists, runners and walkers.
As we cycled along the canal we could take in the changing scenery in front of us the crops consisted mainly of grapes at first but as we progressed along the flat even surface we could see corn and some wheat. The bikes along the canal were an interesting mix as well everything from a uni cycle to a recumbent tandem!
Before we left we had seen news of a collapse of the path by Meilham-sur-Garonne and although repairs had obviously started we did have to follow a short detour. Although not as hot as we first thought it was going to be we needed frequent stops to top up bottles and to literally rest our weary ass the fact that an ice cream vendor might be close by did not influence our decision of where to stop. Most expensive Magnum on the Garonne 3euro 50!
Our home for the night was at Marmande in a Budget Ibis which turned out to be 5 miles from the canal most of it on busy roads. We booked in and when we asked about cycle storage which I had said was required when I made the booking was told that cycles were stored outside in the main car park in a bike rack! So we locked our steeds up and after getting freshened up went to the Campanile next door for our dinner. When we came back the bike rack was full. After looking at our route out in the morning and finding a slightly less busy road for the middle stretch we retired to bed and were almost instantly asleep.
Dist 34 miles
Climb 1404 feet
Time 4h 9mins
AV sp 8.2 mph