France intro                                                                                          < Previous page          Next page >
Day 23 - Peaceful villages
March 25, 2010                                    Cadillac to Latresne                                      15 miles
Wine bottle on the wall
High society
House and yard
Street to the Garonne
I'm glad that I'm hiking up the east side of the Garonne. It's the side without the auroroute, and I'm sure it's more peaceful. Villages nestle between the river and an escarpment, with the road running through them. Some homes are stately, and some are modest. It hasn't been "discovered" so it hasn't been spoiled. Having said that, the Garonne - in these parts anyway - is a major river but not a scenic river. I suspect the large tides make the riverside hard for that to be.

For "scenic" visit its tributary, the Dordogne, a few miles north. The Dordogne flows into the Garonne just below-river from Bordeaux. Shortly after, the estuary to the sea is known as the Gironde, perhaps because neither the Garonne nor the Dordogne had a unique claim to name it as theirs.

It was due to rain in the afternoon, and 60 km/h (38 mph) winds were predicted to swing from the south to the west, hitting my front left quarter. So I started early to minimize the impact, and made good progress. The winds never actually left the south, which was nice, and the rain held off until I was almost at the door of the Hôtel d'Arcins in Latresne. It was, incidentally, absolutely the only open accommodation on the road from Cadillac to Latresne. I'm glad I did so much homework in finding these places before I left home. I'm also glad to have had recommendations from my support teams back home. They've often zoomed in with a good choice at a propitious moment. (A propitious moment is evidenced by a cry for help along the lines of "Is there any place to stay between Castaudigaudelles and Pontifreguette?")

Latresne is across the river from the south end of Bordeaux - Bordeaux being predominantly on the west bank. So, tomorrow, I have only to head downriver to find a bridge, and I am there. But, to arrive in style, I need to find the famous old bridge which, I think, is the Pont de Pierre. Any native will be able to tell me.

And that will complete the inland waterway from the Mediterranean. Bordeaux is a major seaport, and it's where the "Canal des deux Mers" guidebooks start or end. Never mind my plans to walk on an extra 60 miles (96 km) to the Atlantic coast.

So we are done, right? That's what I asked Hobson, but he just shrugged. "So why have you booked a hotel ten miles north of Bordeaux then?" was all he said.

I told him to go take a boat ride.
Safe driving sign
Roadside rest
Sweep of the Garonne
Hobson's black barge
< Previous                                                       © 2010 Daryl May                                                          Next >