My previous trip to Bordeaux was to stay with a warmshowers host in 2014. That didn’t happen. I’d arrived and called and unfortunately they were unwell. This left me with a bit of a problem. I’d cycled all day, was in the middle of a city with nowhere to sleep.

Luckily cycling out I met a friendly guy Michael, on a mountain bike that not only let me draught him. But put me for the night as well.

Michael in 2014

This time I booked an F1 hotel so I could have somewhere secure and see the city.

I looked online for where to see, but these are mostly from companies trying to sell tickets. Luckily a friend James, who has a place in the South of France had several suggestions.

I’d paid a little bit extra for the F1 to have my own shower and toilet and to allow me to check in at 12. The latter part didn’t go to plan as I only arrived at 13:45. But this did allow me to check in, before the amassing queue for the 14:00 check in.

I didn’t realise the rooms with their own shower were on the top floor, with no lift. That meant several trips up all the stairs with all the bags and finally the bike to get them in the room.

The hotel was about a mile and a half from the Center. A nice walk, even though it was well over 30 degrees. Roadworks meant finding my way wasn’t as straight forward as it could be, but I soon found myself in the Center.

Wisteria walkway into town

I’d plotted most of James suggestions into a walking tour on Komoot. With the Garmin Fenix watch, this made finding everything pretty simple. And more importantly made getting back easy should I have a few glasses of vin or bier.

Walking round the old town

Most of the places I’d plotted happened to be wine bars. There are a lot of squares with restaurants, streets with creperies and cafes.

It’s warm in the city

I dived into a nice looking bar in a square and seconds later I had a small cold beer and a cold water in front of me. with it being hot and having to ride the next day, there was no point going mad.

Bordeaux is a fabulously old city. Lots of narrow walkways with alleys leading to magnificent churches and old structures.

The Grosse Cloche at the end of the alley

After a bit of a walk and a beer I started to feel hungry. Found a place next door that sold pizzas by the quarter. I went for one with ham and lots of cheese and promised the young lady I’d be back for more later! last time I came about a place like this was in Cape Town.

Pizza by the quarter.

As has been the normal on this tour. Every time I come to a significant monument. It’s covered in scaffolding! Bordeaux didn’t break this trend.

Another monument under scaffold. Baselisque saint Michel

As it was hot, I fancied an ice cream. But then so did everyone else. The queue stretched round the corner. So I went for the opposite. A chocolate Crepe and a coffee.

Everyone wants ice cream when it’s mid thirty’s.

On the way back after having stopped for more beers and pizza. I went out of my way to see a less touristy area. I walked through parks with locals enjoying the evening and past several derelict or graffiti covered buildings. At one point stopping to chat to a Nigerian guy who couldn’t speak French and was trying to stay in Bordeaux or make it to Paris.

Not everything was clean and scrubbed up.

The walk was over 9 miles in total. After getting back to the room and making the most of the personal shower I easily fell asleep in an air conditioned room.

The following day I had breakfast and then set about lugging my bike and all the bags back down three flights.

I have been suffering with a noisy drive train. So decided to take a look before I left the hotel and a good supply of hot water to wash the oil off my hands. I took out a link so the tensioner was under more tension. This has lessened the noise. I also cleaned the chain and relubed it.

Taking a link out to stretch the chain tensioner

When going to put the panniers on, I noticed a bolt missing. I fixed this with the touring cyclists best friend. A cable tie. Coupled with a couple of ring pulls to act as washers. Seems as solid as both a bolt.

Bodged ortlieb pannier. They actually got in touch after seeing this on Instagram.

Once I’d gotten on the road. I stopped for a quick photo opportunity at Le Lion sculpture before heading North East.

Le Lion

Baguette and Pain Au Chocolat stop was made on the way out of Bordeaux. Prep enough for a days cycling ahead.

Nice Boulangerie under a bridge.

After leaving Bordeaux, I headed North East toward some friends, James and Jacqui who had invited me to stay. James is also a member of a club in Devizes and used to live spitting distance to the lamb and the club. They were flying over to a place they have in the area for a large party. It’s a sort of wedding/union. For some of their friends and a birthday meal for another friend on my day of arrival.

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