A Le Tour start and a special village
Jul 13, 2011
|Today we decide to attend the start of a stage. As our accommodation was booked with the end in mind we have quite a way to travel.
We park our car where we think the stage starts only to find that we have quite a walk to the next village to the actual start – Kim and Toby return to get the car while the rest of us walk on.
Unfortunately there is a light sprinkle of rain today. Just enough to need an umbrella but not enough to drench us. If it doesn’t clear the riders are in for an interesting day.
The village is not very big so the crowds are not overwhelming. I set up in front of the yellow Le Tour truck and watch as each of the riders climbs the steps and ‘signs on’.
David is a across the other side of the road where tables have been set up with munchies – the riders stop and fill their pockets on their way to sign on so he has a great view.
Megan meets up with the BMC bus and has some fun there. The crew bring out coffee to the fans and she can watch them set up the bikes etc.
When the riders congregate at the start line we make our way there to watch them leave. Some of the riders look bored, others concentrating but most are just happy and chatting to the other riders around them. Looking at them I don’t know how they can be so relaxed and happy given the day that is ahead of them – all that effort and pain.
We haven’t seen Kim and Toby so we start the climb back up to the other village. Unfortunately the road was closed just as they got back to the car – they decided to stay put and watch at the round about.
In the car and we drive for the next couple of hours to a village called Rocomadour. We have a late lunch, early tea – we arrive at 4.30pm.
This medieval village is actually built into a cliff. Very picturesque and flooded with tourists. At least we have arrived at the end of the day when many have
The origin of this village is unusual. There are no clues as to how or why it came into being. The first note is in 1105 when the Notre-Dame Chapel is mentioned. It is a quite significant religious site with many chapels, Basilica and other churches.
The lower (main) street is a mecca of tourist shops. Many quite exclusive and expensive clothing and jewellery shops. I guess someone must buy the stuff. Also cafes, crepe and ice cream shops and a ‘train’ to cart some of the tourists from the river in the valley up to the lower street.
From there the only way to see the rest of the village and the churches etc is climb – very long and high steps up until you reach the narrow lanes at different levels.
When we have had our fill its back to Louis and Charley and the quickest route back home – this means toll roads.
We make it back by 10.30pm – quite a big day.