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Fall arrives with a vengeance in France. The temperature dropped to 8 degrees Celsius last night, I left at 13 degrees, and the temp today never rose above 20. Another thunderstorm raged last night as well. I noticed this morning the leaves have turned brown on the fruit trees. Last night of course I slept inside, but I wonder how tonight will go. The lower temps approach the limits of my current gear. I remember a few very cold nights in northern Poland that I would prefer not to repeat. 

After wishing everyone the best, I left Fabrice’s early  this morning, with the wonder of whether I could make the campground just south of Bordeaux, 180 km away. While Fabrice told me that the hills should end in 20 km, I believe he meant to say 50 km, because at 40 km, while the hills started to decrease their slope, we had not reached “flat” yet.

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Early on I found a castle on the horizon, causing a slight detour. Only part of the outer wall and one tower remained standing. Walking around the perimeter of the hill, the outer walls still in evidence, I suspect a motte.

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The early start meant I reached 50 km by lunch, but with a slow hourly rate from the hills. I picked up speed after lunch with the flatter terrain, but by 5:00 pm I had only reached the campground one before the campground in Bordeaux, and between the drizzle starting to fall, the slight headwind, and some math on my average speed, best case I would pull into the campground south of Bordeaux just as dark fell, with no margin for error. Already having cycled 130 km, I decided that today was not the day, and set up camp. Only a two star campground, that still means a hot shower and internet. The host also assigned me a campsite with a table, an unusual occurrence.

Tomorrow I should reach Bordeaux by lunch, explore the inner city, and move farther north.

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