France - Nièvre

St Amand-en-Puisaye
Tue 20 May 2014     Cumulative distance 742km
Another great day although gusty winds and showers in the afternoon were forecast. We started around 9am and chose to take a series of back roads to avoid the traffic. Back roads have their ups and downs - literally - but the hard work climbing the often steep gradients was rewarded with superb views and great downhill runs (before the next climb!). We passed through wide open fields and dense forest that virtually enclosed the road creating long green tunnels - a very special feeling.

The towns and villages we passed through often seemed virtually uninhabited, with only the occasional person about. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on a small side path by a large lake before cycling the final 20km to the Chambres d'hotes (B&B) Domaine de Varenne. Not long after we arrived the heavens opened and it bucketted down.

The Domaine de Varenne is run by an English couple who have been living and farming in France for the last 20 years. Very recently, for health reasons, they switched from farming to running a B&B and are still finding their way but, to our minds, they have it well in hand. We had long and enjoyable discussions with them on all manner of things French before being served a delicious meal, accompanied by local wine and cheeses. An experience that can be highly recommended.

On the subject of food, there are some complaints that we aren't cycling hard enough to work off all the superb food that we have been enjoying. The loaded weight of our bikes is slowly increasing, and it is not the luggage that's to blame!

Leaving Vézelay Photo

 

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Vézelay to St Amand-en-Puisaye Photo

 

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Domaine de Varenne
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