Temp 10c and cloudy but at least the rain of yesterday had stopped overnight, the city soon gave way to open countryside through Pompaire I came to Menigoute as the sun appeared, a lovely little town with a beautiful old church and a water tower that had been given some street art to brighten its stark appearance. Sanxay and Jazeeneuil, just two of the interesting villages along the way and with a following wind the miles flew by on the flat roads into Lusignan.
I met Kaye for coffee just before Vivonne and carrying on across the River Clain the road rises and becomes undulating. The surrounding fields were a mix of arable and livestock and it was noticeable as I was heading further south how the crops were further advanced, the oil seed rape flowers of the north-west had given way to seed pods and the barley was taller and just beginning to show a change of colour. Another item that caught the eye was the artwork and sculptures placed on roundabouts that added a nice touch of interest for a touring cyclist.
Progress came to a swift halt at the D102 at Usson du Poitou where a “Route Baree” sign had closed the road, no previous warning or “Route Deviation” signs and looking at the map it looked like a long diversion. I tried to phone Kaye but she was already on the same road and when she arrived even turning the motor home around was tricky. A car appeared behind us and a French woman asked where we were headed, she then led Kaye through the country lanes to our lunch destination at L’Isle-Jourdain. I was able to cycle the original route and had 15km of fast, traffic free new tarmac which the contractors were just finishing and met Kaye at the Magnificent viaduct that crosses the River Vienne for a lunch stop overlooking the water.
Post lunch the weather had improved, the sun was warm and I opted to push on a few more miles so we chose Confluens as our destination for the day.
The road goes through some quaint villages including Availles-Limouzine and navigation is easy as you are on the D8 all the way to Confluens, you are generally following the river which provide some great views and at Ste-Radegonde there is a terrific view of a crumbling château on the far banks of the river, I stopped for a Kodak moment and to look at the bridge over the river that was in the process of being restored with new stonework.
From here it was a short undulating ride to Confolens and our campsite at Camping des Ribieres for €14 per night with electricity, wi-fi and all services, a nice river side pitch.
Stats: 81miles, 3908ft climbing.