Day 6 Montpellier to Brighton - Agens

45 kms - a half day but far enough

I don't suppose the manager at Hotel le Provence reads my blog but if does I hope he'll forgive me. We said we would be there this afternoon but unfortunately I got our Perigords mixed up with my Provences and we're staying at the hotel down to road. By the time I had worked out that we had made a mistake it was too late, I was already getting warmed up in the bath!
Great track

After the huge downpour yesterday, rain that apparently has left much of France underwater, the weather improved a bit today. Although it didn't actually rain that's all you can say for it. It's been cold, windier than yesterday and the prospect of a big ride this morning was just too much. Instead we had a huge late breakfast, lounged about in our room and made a leisurely departure with Agens, 45 kms west, the target.
Packed with pilgrims
Yesterday's excellent surface continued but today we shared it with dozens of walkers. This stretch of our route is also the GR 65, a major French artery for the Camiño de Santiago. I'm not a fan of that particular walk and although flying along tarmac at the side of canal at 20 km makes some sense, trudging along at 3 km doesn't: it's just too boring.
The oldest bike shop in France?
We stopped for coffee at Valence and found a charming old bike shop. After all the rain our bikes need a little bit of oil. The owners were a mother and daughter with an average age of about sixty. Ancient bikes were still being repaired there although there was little (nothing) in the way of new stock. A little petrol pump supported an even more arcane moped business. If you look hard enough you can still find old France.
Agens prunes
The medieval centre in Agens
A great cup of tea in France
Arriving in Agens early, booking into the wrong hotel (not very clean but cheap!) we set off to explore the town. It's famous for prune associated products and Christine was keen to buy some. I'm pleased to report that, good though they probably are, there is a lot more to Agen than prunes. It has a large and lovely medieval core which includes a interesting array of restaurants, tea and coffee shops and bars. The Cathedral, another Romanesque/Gothic building, had 19th century neo-Gothic interior decor that resembled the Houses of Parliament. We've had a good afternoon in Agen and are pleased we arrived here early but, fingers crossed, we're hoping for better weather tomorrow.

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