Monday, 31 August 2015

Friday 31st July Niort to Ripère

Getting out of Niort was a nightmare! We were quite a way off the V43, and needed to navigate around the outskirts of the city to pick up the route again. But this is the place of ring roads and urban dual carriage ways and massive hypermarkets and definitely no thought for pedestrians or cyclists. The car is not only king - it's the only feasible transport. It took us ages to work out how to cross the ring-road. We eventually found a bridge over it after doing about 3km isn't he wrong direction. Nil points, Niort.

We came here, for a Rendezvous?

After this the ride was pleasantly rural, passing through very few settlements and with a gentle up and down on mostly very minor roads with reasonable surfaces. Most of the time we could ride side by side as so little traffic.  Again , lunch was a problem!  We had reckoned that a small town called Maziers-en-Gâtin would have a café, but although it had a couple of large banks and agricultural stores the resto was long closed, and the Evdn the Huit-8 was closed!  We bought Quiche and Éclairs from the Boulangerie which was the only shop open at 1230, and ate them leaning against a tree. 

Next into Pathenay - the only sizeable place for miles. And it's also closed - shops and restos! We found somewhere to get a beer, and made a detour to the local cycle shop to top up our chain oil which I finished this morning. Generally dispiriting place. 

On to Ripère. Ripère is a hamlet of the left of the Lac du Cébron. The cycle path actually goes to the right through St Loup, but the nearest place we could find to stay was a Chambres D'Hôte here. We  need to bike into St Loup (4km each way) for supper.

The supper was a farce! We had been warned to avoid one of the resto' sand told the pizza place and the hotel were fine. In the event the hotel was doing a reception and was therefore closed, and the pizza place was full. So we went to the auberge. It was run by a woman who had provably already had too much to drink and didn't do politeness or manners. The locals assured us she must like us though as she was prepared to feed us! 

Distance 81.3km
Av speed 15.93kph
Ascent 688m

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