I on forehand had a hard time to determine my route. Then online I found out that in a range of 40kms to 80kms from Auch to the west there are no decent campings. There are only just a few of them anyway and except for one they are expensive. Which in this blog means that they have no tarif for randonneurs and want me to pay a full family price.
That's why there remained only one so I choose that one as my goal for today. However it was just about 40km away so it would be a shorter and easier trip. Was I wrong again ...
I started late with the trip from Auch to Pouylebon, and I have no idea why. I guess I just was a slow starter today haha. Anyway, the first hill (at the camping ...) was Steep already, but I managed. Then I rode to Auch were I was hoping to find a nice sandwiche. I found a bakery and bought one, and then found a cafe along a very busy road where I had coffee and ate half of the sandwiche. I drank another coffee, accompanied by two glasses of delicious (and) cold water and payed just € 2 in total. I never had coffee that cheap in France !
My gps choose the shortest track as I told it to do. But I knew that the historical centre of Auch is much higher situated then the rest of the town. So I choose to avoid the centre and cycled through the outskirts of the town. But at the last street to the right I had "no option left but to turn right". And had to push again.
As you see at the pictures it was somewhat cloudy and more important, it was about 10C less hot then I am used to. It was "just" about 26C so I was in strong doubt to leave France immediately haha. Happily temperature went up steadily and in the afternoon it was about 30C I guess.
There were cows in the meadows and I was happy to see them. All my route from Montpellier to Rieumes, see the former blogs, I have not seen cows. But now they are there, and so are the hay bales.
The hills were also there. ... Today I managed 562 vms in 40 kms which took me 6h30. The topspeed was 56,4 kmh.
I love those bends ! They make me think about what will come next.
However, at that next farm 3 big and very angry dogs tried to attack me. "Luckily" they were chained (this time ...). I will never understand why people want to have dogs that are agressive and barking all the time. Is it "something" mental maybe ???
Before I left in 2017 I had all kind of vaccinations, and last winter I had some of them repeated. That costed me about € 700 of which about € 200 "for the dogs".
Then I saw something moving in the sunflowers field. I halted and turned back, a bit anxious about what that could be ... A hunter, a deer or even a wild boar ?
It turned out to be Mr. SunFlower, waving happily to all who passed ! Another golden moment that I will not forget ...
However, there also was another sunflower, and he was not that happy. Some way or another, he was planted the wrong way around. Is he then maybe Mr. MoonFlower ???
I passed a very little town ( 2 farmers ?) called La Hitte. That's exactly why I'm here in this climate : La Hitte ! Then "hitte" is the Dutch word for heat, so for chaleur. As I always say "I was born 10C wrong". I hate the cold but have no problems at all being it i.e. 40C. That is, being outside in the fresh air. In other words "another day Not at the office" haha.
I went on and came past an old farmhouse. What attracted me was the watertap at the wall ! Some nice fresh and cold(er) water is always irresistible. So I decided to make a longer stop here at this beautiful and peaceful spot.
The house seemed abandond then I saw and heard nothing, also no dog(s). I took my bidon and took fresh water, however it was not cold but "less warm". I was there some 15 minutes already when suddenly two dogs came running around the corner, barking loud.
But they were Very Friendly and just wanted to meet me and Play some. Somewhat later the owner came outside and waved at me. But he made no attention to come closer and had no further interest. The dogs went inside again and I climbed at my bicycle to continue.
But if you think this man is oldfashioned you're wrong. Then his mailbox is already climateproof while yours is not haha !
I stopped for a promotion (offer) to have my bicycle checked a un petit pris (for a low price). But I changed my mind, the price was to low obviously.
I passed the little river La Petite Baise but saw that D'Artagnan was already here somewhat earlier than me. The message is clear now (thank you ...) : I really have to speed up in order to ever get my own chapter in the history books ! However the excuse I have is that he never took any pictures during his trips haha.
Just after L'Isle de Noé there was a promotion for Condom. Considering the quality of the materials used I think this campaign is supported by the Governement. But as always the best things are to far away. Those 44 kilometers would cost me some 5 hours and by that time I would be to tired anyway haha.
And as always I met some very beautiful animals today. Being them beautiful is nature's merit. But meeting them is the thing you have to arrange yourself. Is that a tip or is that a Tip haha.
At the end of the trip I had to climb one more steep hill. But finally I saw this sign. However, that last 2 x 500 meters went down very steep. So I knew again that I would need a taxi to get of this camping again.
I got a nice pitch, it was the last one available ...
Then I found out that this camping is dutch-owned and run. One way or another this always means that during the years such a camping attracts more and more guests from that same country (only). I have experienced that more then once, i.e. with belgian owned sites.
Those places then become more and more an enclave, and the same guests come there year after year after year. They all know each other and they all know all things seeworthy for years already. They even know the menu of next week's friday. It's a pity that people have no drive (...) to explore other regions of a polyvalent country like France.
That first evening I joined "the" bbq evening and was guests nr 71. About 64 dutchies of them were sitting at 2 very long tables. The other 7, being french, had there own separate table. No interactions, so not my style, but I noticed that too late.
However I myself was (also) being watched constantly. The goats kept being curious and the pigs didn't like me until the day I left. Did they feel I was not a frenchman haha ?
And there was something special about those acorn trees. Then these acorns are protected by and growing inside a kind of sleeve, just as chestnuts are. I haven't seen this before in my life. But now I have, again a new Yes experience !
Click at the panorama photos to open them as a poster :
As you might have guessed I didn't feel so at home at this camping in Pouylebon.
The second evening I had a very good plat du jour, accompanied by a quatre litre de vin rouge.
I had my laptop with me since the canteen seemed me to be a good place to do some work at pictures and journals.
It indeed was, until I was terrorised by some 8 children making extreem lots of noices.
"Yes, this is a family campsite" the owner
explained told me ...
I went to my tent and decided to leave the next morning. But how long would it take to get a taxi over here to get me over that double hill ?
A la prochaine, that one will be a special story !