Monday, October 4, 2010


We arrived in Paris two days ago at 6:30 am. Not much to do until the train was going to take us to Brive-La-Gaillarde at 2PM. That made for a relaxing wait. We had to get to Terminal 2 at the Charles de Gaulle Airport and then wait for Paul and Linda to arrive. They arrived on time except that Linda's bike was left behind in Washington DC. Not good. It is hard to have a cycling holiday without a bike.
We got to the Train station and Muffy and I decided to take a short walk along the Seine River. In the distance we could see the backside of Notre Dame Cathedral, the top of the Eiffel Tower and we ran into Bernard. Bernard is our French friend who comes to OBR almost every year. The chance of seeing him on the streets of Paris (where he lives part time) was pretty impossible, but meet we did. We had a nice chat with him and his wife Dominique. Then it was back to the Gare Austerlitz. We managed to get all of our baggage on the train ( 13 bikes and multiple suitcases) and sit for the long ride to Brive. The train for me was a great choice. One could nap in the seats, walk around the cars and look at the scenery pass by at around 100 miles a hour.
Our shuttle met us in Brive for the short bus ride to St Cere. Madame Berry was there to greet us and help us organize our large numbers of bags. One of my favorite things about returning to a familiar town is seeing old friends. It is comforting to know that we were going to be treated in a warm friendly manner. Though I have heard many stories of being treated unfriendly in France I have never experienced it, and yes they do smile in France.
Yesterday, our first riding day it was off to the Nut Festival. We had been close to the nut festival a few years ago. It happens every two years in Saillac, about 30 kilometers from St Cere. It is a celebration of walnuts and it is called the Fete de Noix. Noix is nut but it actually walnut. They have a big meal (this year the theme was Spanish and the meal was paella). The locals dressed the part as torredores, flamenco dancers, mexican banditos etc.
We tasted nut oil, cocoa nuts, sugar nuts, nut loaf, nut tarts, nut mustard, pretty much nut everything. We were also riding on the Route de Noix. It was kind of nutty.
100 kilos of some of the best riding around.
Today I woke up to a partly cloudy sky that quickly turned into an exciting thunderstorm. Now, at 10 am, we have a steady downpour. Some of the group are headed out with a rental car to see the sights, some are waiting for the rain to stop and I am writing this postponing my interval session in the hill of St Cere (rain or not).
Here is a link of our ride yesterday. I will have photos later. Thanks for reading.

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