We're getting slick at pannier packing now - the process whittled down to less than 10 minutes compared to the half-hour or so that used to take. We're up on the second floor so today we'd be hauling our bags down to the basement garage via the lift - a Shindlers Lift - As the lift arrives and the door opens there is a small man standing in the middle, the lift isn't particularly big and I see it will be a squeeze. Gary shuffles in carrying his five bags, helmet and water bottles, "Sorry about this" he offers. There is a look of alarm on the face of the little man already in there as he is engulfed - he makes no attempt to move as Gary clatters into the space, bags scraping the sides and bumping into the man - There's a moment of chaos as a couple of Gary's bags slip from his arm, his water bottles crash to the floor and spin around, he lifts his leg to break the fall of his helmet as that too spirals downwards. "We'll get the next one" he concedes, kicking his bottles back out into the corridor and dragging his bags.
|Lot to do!|
Cahors is a city on the Lot river in the Occitanie region. Founded in Roman times it is known for its deep red wine and the Pont Valentre, a medieval bridge with three towers. The old-town has many half-timbered houses, narrow alleyways and an imposing Cathedral and boulevards lined with plane trees. We drop down to river level and locate our accommodation for this evening - a small hotel not far from the famous bridge.
|The Cathedral St Etienne|
After a shower, change of clothes and we're out. There's some sun now and the bridge and the riverside path look particularly beautiful, illuminated by the late afternoon sun.
We wander round the old-town, lots of pavement bars and restaurants and everywhere seems busy. There's a shop that appears to sell just brushes: all manner of implements utilising hair and bristles, can't imagine why or how there's enough demand to support such an enterprise? We find a restaurant for supper - it's evening now, getting dark and definitely cool. I nip back to the hotel for an extra layer and we sit out with the usual beers and pastis. Gary orders a flammekueches - translates as 'flame-cake' it's an Alsation/Mossellan dish - essentially like a pizza. I opt for a simple caesar salad. We of course order a bottle of Cahors to wash it down.
|Sock dryer in action|
We walk back to the hotel in the dark, making another visit to the river and the bridge which is illuminated by a lighting system that cycles through different colours, yellow, blue, pink. It's impressive and there are lots of people taking in the view. And then we were done - it's bedtime - we're way down South now and the feeling is that our journey is edging towards its end.
|Cahors bridge at night|