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Le Mille Bornes with Paulette - Stage 9: Royan to La Rochelle

Publié le : 02/15/2024 17:25:36
Catégories : Organise your cycling trip

Le Mille Bornes with Paulette - Stage 9: Royan to La Rochelle

Day 9 - Royan > La Rochelle (90 km)

"Following the advice of the locals, we leave the ocean and the Vélodyssée for a while to explore the Seudre estuary and the fishing village of l'Éguille. Between land and sea, we pass through ancient salt marshes and oyster beds, water gardens used as maturing basins for the region's famous varieties of oysters. *

In the small village of Saint-Sornin, the disappointment of not finding an open café is tempered by the pleasant discovery of the church of Saint-Saturnin. In the shadow of its frescoes, a neighbour plays his harmonica.

Music soothes many aches and pains, but not yet the thirst that drives us on to Saint-Jean-d'Angle. An imposing fortified castle has protected the marshes and their riches since the 12th century. This morning, nothing is more valuable to us than a fresh Coke.

Rochefort is within pedal range, but we still have to cross the Charente. The bad Google Maps algorithms would like us to cross an ugly road bridge, but a hunch pushes us a little to the east, where a "Pont Transbordeur" is indicated.

The discovery of the structure is striking. An ingenious 700-tonne system looks down on us. It links the two banks by means of a gondola attached to the deck, 50 metres above the water. Inaugurated in 1900, the ferry offered a means of crossing the river that did not hinder the navigation of the frigates from the Rochefort Arsenal or the movement of people, animals and vehicles on the road between Bordeaux and Nantes. Today, this is the most pleasant way to disembark at Rochefort.

In the town of Demoiselles, you can't do things Demy-style. We have the best reasons in the world to treat ourselves to a festive lunch on the terrace of Les Béatilles. The odometer already reads 1000 kilometres. The contract has been fulfilled, and the adventure is almost at an end.

Cheerful and smiling, we rejoin the Vélodyssée for the last 50 kilometres to La Rochelle. The beautiful houses of Châtelaillon-Plage watch the tides and holidaymakers come and go.

As night fell, the towers of the port of La Rochelle sounded the departure bell for Raph. He hopped on a train to Paris after returning his bike to Paulette's local partner. The peloton is getting out of shape and the final breakaway is on the horizon.

In the meantime, a sweet evening awaits us at JB's sister's house, where we are welcomed by the whole family. "

Paulette is a network of bike hire agencies. You can find us on the Canal de Nantes à Brest, the Loire à vélo, the Vélodyssée, the Canal latéral à la Garonne, the Méditerranée à vélo and the Canal du Midi in Brest, Tours, Nantes, Lyon, Arles, Mâcon, Chalon sur Saône, Montélimar, Paris, La Rochelle, Royan, Bordeaux, Sète, Béziers, Narbonne, Biarritz and Toulouse.

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