Monday 18th May 2009.
We seem to wake up a little later each day but I guess thats a sign of relaxation. When we had finally showerd etc.. and breakfasted we set off for Rocamadour first via the supermarket for a baguette for lunch and then Payac just to make a round tour of it.
The scenery changed somewhat on the way to a bit more rugged and mountainous instead of rolling and green hills. We passed a couple of groups of cyclists of a more ‘elderley’ persuasion obviously out for their Monday ‘club ride’ when the roads are less busy. They were all dressed in proper cycle racing clothes and obviously each group were in club colours. I wish I could have joined them. Its beautiful cycling country, long winding climbs and similar winding descents and best of all warm and sunny.
Rocamadour is a spectacular place. We reached it after a long and bendy climb up to the top and e parked at the small town at the top of the next valley that the Monastry/Abbey overlooks and decided to walk down. It was quite a steep walk of about half a mile I guess and all the
way down I was thinking about the climb back up, but the view took your mind off that somewhat. The town consists mainly of one street with medieval type buildings that were once houses and are now shops, but tastefully done. We had a coffee and then set off on the walk back up. It wasnt so bad. I adopted my style of riding up long hills on the bike. Just look at the ground a few yards ahead of you and not at the top or the gradient and set a steady rythmn and eventually you get there.
When we reached the top again we found a seat overlooking the view of the town and had our lunch.
When we set off on our way home, we were just leaving the village and about to start our descent back down on our way home and we encountered one of the groups of cyclists we had seen assembling as we left Sarlat about 50km back. The first guy raised his arms as he passed the Rocamadour town sign as though he had won a stage of the Tour de France, quickly followed by a couple more and the rest we passed at various stages over the next couple of kilometres. It was about a 10K descent overall or a 10K climb for them..
The practice of sprinting for town signs is obviously an international one. I remember when we were on training rides, every time a town sign came into view it was treated as the finish of a race and a big sprint ensued. I remember on one occasion of the lads had his head down and ‘sprinting for the sign’ as it was called and he rode straight into the back of a parked car.. Ouch!!!.. he lost a few teeth and the sprint.. :).
We came back via Souillac again, as yesterday, and it still wasnt very busy. There is a noticable lack of people and traffic for sure. You can go through a village and its like a ghost town, nobody about. Back into Sarlat via the north bank of the Dordogne and once again ‘Sally Sat Nav’ came to our rescue finding us a way through a couple of diversions due to roadworks that could have been a nightmare.
A relaxed remainder of the afternoon in the sunshine outside until dinner time and a pre perandial drinky. I earned it though as I polished the car the rid of the evidence of my botched car washing yesterday.
We think we will have one more day here and then set off in a south easterly direction to some where new and intersting. This is a great place and still plenty to do and see around here but that can wait for another time and another holiday.. after all, we ONLY have 3 weeks left of this one. Still lots of places to go and things to see !!!