A day of two halves.
Rolled out of Marmande at 0845hrs. Cycled for an hour then I had my 2nd front wheel puncture in two days. We were beside the canal, at a lock. We decided to repair it, so I popped out the tube and looked for some water to see where the bubbles were coming from. As the level of water was a little too low for me, I decided that I must lower jc over the bank to test the tube. It was just sheer bad luck that at this precise location a colony of hornets had decided to build their nest! Luckily one decided to sting her on the back of her hand before it's mates had gathered to do the same. Bravely I hung on to her heels and pulled her back up before the situation worsened. There were hornets everywhere looking menacing. Glad to say we only sustained the single sting between us. (The swelling is not too bad, she'll be ok in a couple of days.)
Relocating along the canal path, we were aided by a Yorkshire couple (they'd retired here from Bradford) who told us where a town was where we could get a new tyre. It was a good 15km detour to a lovely town called Tonniens.
My tyre was called an Armadillo. The guy in Terry's cycles in Yate told me it was indestructible and that it would go through a minefield. The side wall had shredded. Wait till I see him.
The reason we've hung so far west, almost touching the Atlantic coast can now be revealed. This is where the canal system starts that will take us all the way, across the flat sunny south to the Med.
The canal system, with it's attendant cycle path, meanders it's way for several hundreds of miles to Sete, on the Med: our goal.
The training, the cruel headwinds of the north and the high peaks of the Dordoyne have battle-hardened our legs to make the most of this West to East cycleway. We are now at one with our bikes. We only have to think fast and we go fast. Without thinking our fingers flick the gears like the tongue of a lizard, tasting the air. We bashed out almost 100km without stopping. Occasionally we spotted a cyclist ahead - everytime we worked to haul them in and spit them out the back. No cyclist had passed us for days.
We've stopped at a place called Moissac.
We've been invited out tomorrow.