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Entries about padirac

Rocamadour. then a quick 30km round trip to Padirac Caves

walking is ok, but who are we kidding with these bikes?

Monday 16th Sept (day 16)

Ugg we woke up to the sound of rain on our tent this morning - not a sound you want to hear when camping. Not much point in hurrying to get up but we did eventually. Had a big day planned today but the weather is against us - remember our only mode of transport being Sofia and Fonsi.

Nowhere to shelter from the rain either when you are in a 2 star camp ground, they do have a couple of picnic tables with sun umbrellas near the reception office which we tried to take shelter under and have some breakfast. The lady in the office took pity on us and offered us the heated office to use while we ate. Very generous of her, we wanted to move in!

By midday the sky had started to clear and we decided to make our planned excursion to Gouffre de Padirac (Chasm of Padirac). It was a 30km round trip and we guessed leaving at midday we would be able to make it. Of course half hour on the road and the rain came and stayed with us for the rest of the day. But we were already out so decided to continue on. And again of course the route us up hill and down dale.

Beautiful countryside even in the rain.

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We made it to the caves and yes they were pretty impressive. No photos I'm afraid as this was not allowed in the cave. Info on brochure: " The Chasm of Padirac, the most famous in Europe, is considered as one of he greatest interesting geological sights of France. After a vertiginous descent by 3 lifts or 560 steps, 103 meters down, you take on board the subterranean river for a sail along the magnificent galleries. That's when you discover the Great Pendant - gigantic stalactite of 60 metres high - which, as hung by a string, seems to admire itself in the Lake of the Rain. You then go on foot to the Gours Lake or the Great Dome Room which vault is 94 metres high. A breathtaking sight!"

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Yes it was pretty impressive, but disappointing as the tour was only given in French even though in our group of 12 only 2 were French tourists. I found this very odd for an attraction that classes itself the most famous in Europe. Oh they did give us a brochure in English which was impossible to read due to the fact we were in a dark cave.!!

We jump on our bikes after not being able to get any lunch because it was after 3pm and lunch was officially over! Another sore point surely if you are a restaurant at the most famous site in Europe food should be served continually if people are willing to eat??

Anyway, back we on our bikes and head to the camp - in the rain. To make up for the lack of lunch, Lyn cooked a delicious meal of confit of duck which we purchased from the mini-market near the campground. Luckily the rain had stopped long enough for us to enjoy our dinner - even the sun showed it's face for sunset.

We have a long ride again tomorrow and due to lack of anything else to do as soon as it got dark we had well deserved hot showers and crawled into our little tent and went to sleep.

Tuesday 17th Sept 13 (day 17)

I woke to the sound of the 8am church bells ringing and happily not to the sound of rain on the tent. We are moving on today and did not want to have everything wet to try and pack up.

I was hoping for a 9am departure, but packing up and loading the bikes and having breakfast took longer than expected and it was 10.30 by the time we had paid and cycled out the campground. Goodbye Rocamadour.

About 200 meters out of town and we were already exhausted and we had 40 km to cover today. Thankfully about 1km in we were rewarded with a 6 km down hill run, and then punished by 2 km uphill push. This is how most of the day continued. Rewarding down hill runs followed by punishing up hill climbs where we had to push the full load of our bikes with gear.

It was a very hard day today, much harder even than our first day, but we did eventually make it to our destination of Grolejac. We passed many pretty little villages with houses made of stone. Not a soul about anywhere you wonder how or if these tiny places are surviving. Luck was on our side as we did not encounter any rain, which would have made the day even more strenuous.

After such a big effort and since we are starting our paddle tomorrow we decided to treat ourselves to a night in a hotel. Not much on offer here in Grolejac but Hotel du Pont just by the river managed to give us a room for 30 euro. Having found such a bargain we decided to have dinner here as well 12.50 euro for a set menu.

As I said tomorrow we start the paddle. Really hope the weather starts to clear as I can hear it raining now as we are about to go to bed. Funny the locals are saying they have no had this much rain in September for about 20 years! Typical!

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Posted by Cindy Bruin 04:35 Archived in France Tagged caves rocamadour padirac grolejac Comments (0)

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