Feeling very French today. . .

view from my Agen hotel room looking towards the Point Canal

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This morning I rode south from the beautifully serene Loire valley towards Spain. I rode through some of the Dordogne region crossing the Dordogne river and ending the day by the Pont Canal in Agen. 

I have passed through three villages that end their names with -eix, ridden past signs to Champagne, Armagnac and Cognac. Seen lots of truffle vendors marking their shops with models of pigs out the front. Dairies abound as do Foie Gras signs. To me all very French, and of course everyone calls me madam, and sometimes Madam, c'est bravo!!

I had an early start, well early enough to come into one village just after the bakery ( boulangerie) opened and everyone was walking home with one or two long French bread sticks tucked under their arm.  Everyone in France seems to have a dog  they all walk their doggies on leads and they are all well behaved. The motorbike doesn't seem to bother them  

I passed plenty of walnut groves today, along with some vineyards and the occasional dairy. Plenty of roadside smells too. Safflower, onions, corn, pine, dairies, manure, fresh mown fields, perfume from gardens. it's all rather wonderful and on the bike I'm aware of all the smells, sights and sounds. loving it all. The wisteria is flowering along with lilac and crepe myrtle. Lavender has just been harvested  

Lots of small cars on the road, Renault, Peugeot and some Fiat. electric charge points in most villages for the electric cars.  

Everytime I come to a high point in the road I can see two or three little villages, each identifiable with its church steeple. Sometimes these are overwhelmed by the wind farms that are everywhere. I do like to see them that's for sure. Looking from them into the sky, when it is clear, as it was today the blue sky is crosscrossed with the white vapour trails from planes. It's nothing to count twenty or more at a time. Bit scary really 😟 

Its taken me three days to find a post office. found one today and it's yellow!! I've been looking for something red!! 

the Dordogne region is a little different to softer gentle country side that I've ridden through south from Calais. There is more of a medieval influence in architecture, the hills and roads are steeper ( up to 6% grades) and more rocks and boulders in the countryside. Its 'darker'!!  

everyone in all the shops and hotels are very very friendly and helpful. Being polite is an understatement. Even when we speak in gesticulation it is a happy exchange and I'm slowly learning a little more than my high school French.  

and tomorrow night I should be in Spain.  

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