Sabres to Salies-de-Bearn

27 August 2012
Salies-de-Bearn, Hotel du Parc (casino hotel)
94.38 km, 4 hrs 49 mins, 19.6 kph, 0850 – 1600

Route: D14 to Arengosse and Tartas and our morning tea, D7 and cross-country roads to Puyoo, main road to Salies-de-Bearn

The proprietress of the Auberge directed us down the D14 to get to Tartas, saving us a couple of km and giving us another look at the semi-arid sand and pine landscape of the Landes. It is flat flat flat, very easy cycling with the wind at our sides and the weather warm.

After Tartas, it changed quickly. The countryside is a series of long ridges, and it’s up and over for each of them. Things became greener and more lush, the farms look prosperous and, as the day progressed, the landscapes became spectacular.

We had lunch at Montfort en Chalosse. Olin warned me that I might not be that wild about our choice. Seeing only the salads, it all seemed pretty good to me. Then came the Boudin Noir, our main course. Blood sausage. Black pudding. Ouch. It squeezed gentle out of its casings and mixed nicely with the mashed potatoes. I managed to eat some, actually quite tasty, but hard to take too much.

The cross country route in the pm was too hard. Very steep hills. I would not recommend it. So at the end of the day we took the last long hot hill up the carefully engineered main road. At 36 degrees and a full day’s travel, we were ready to stop.

During the afternoon, we got our first look at the Pyrenees, far in the distance. We draw ever closer.

Salies-de-Bearn is a historic hot springs town with faded and deserted glory. The old hotel de France is a ruin worthy of most horror movies, astonishing that it is standing. Our old hotel is supported by a casino, hard to tell how it is doing as it seems completely empty.

We swam in the salt pools  – last time we enjoyed pools like them on this trip was at the Temple Gardens Hotel in Moose Jaw Sask. That was a few years ago.


About Olin and Suzanne
Olin and Suzanne's cycling trip, across Canada and around the world.

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