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Greg Eden’s Travel Diary

Friday, 19 Sep 2014

MapDay 24 Cadillac to Saint Macaire
Today we pass mainly through vineyards and rolling hills. Every view seems to be a photo opportunity so much of e day is taken up with photos. The scenery is spectacular, somewhat reminiscent of the Barossa Valley in some areas. Our first stop about 5 mins out from Cadillac is a winery that has a wine museum. This is most impressive and informative and is in French and English. We spend about half an hour there. We then ride through the villages of Loupiac, Sainte Croix du Mont and arrive at Verdelais where we stop for a coffee. Nobody speaks English but we all have a few laughs and we end up with what we were hoping to get. We sit down alongside some locals and enjoy the ambience. Most of them say bon Jour to us. This town contains the grave of Henri Toulouse- Lautrec, the famous painter and I look for the grave but can't find it. The local church has a huge gold statue of Jesus at the top of it's spire. This is one of the bigger villages but there is hardly anyone around. We have passed through many small villages and there is hardly a sound. The weather is warm and quite humid and there is hardly any wind. It seems to rain for a short while around 7pm in this area each day. Apparently this is why sweet wines are so good in this area. It seems bordeaux is known mainly for it's sweet whites. On some hilltops we can see half a dozen little villages all within a few km of each other. We ride on through St Germaine de Graves and Le Pian Sur Garonne and eventually arrive at Saint Macaire after having taken a wrong road. This is a medieval village with huge walls still intact and many people living within the walls. Many villages in this area still have massive walls intact. They were built during the 100 year war as protection and would have done a good job. Our hotel is within the walls (the old town) and all facilities are close by. We have a good walk around the town. The streets are all very narrow and mostly in poor state but cars and motorbikes roar around them. We have dinner in a Moroccan restaurant and it is very good. It is a bit hard to get to sleep as peoples voices echo around the streets below.