The Dordogne river valley from D50
I experienced a wide variety of riding today: some of it unpleasant, some of it on very small roads,some of it on expressways, some of it very frustrating, some of it dangerous, and, of course, some of it quite lovely. I started the day on D60 with very little traffic, gentle hills, and a big smile on my face, then I rode north to the beautiful Dordogne River valley and east along the river with, sometimes, too much traffic and dangerous riding , and then I headed north from Souillac on N20, a major road paralleling an autoroute, rather like US 11 in Virginia, then, ten miles later, rode east on roads so small that I had trouble finding them, then north-east on bigger roads to east of Brive (the big city in this part of France) and finally I rode east on E70, a major expressway to Tulle.
Looking across the river from Domme, a major tourist stop in the Dordogne River valley
At Daglan I, reluctantly, turned north on D57 which follows a river to the Dordogne valley. Nice riding. When I reached D50, I turned east to ride to Domme. That meant climbing a 100 m+ hill and then descending Domme. Since it was such a famous place, I then climbed 150 m+ up to the medieval village of Domme. It was neat, but too touristy for me, so I headed back down and crossed the river to D703. I only rode four miles on that side, but it seemed much longer - and it was because I missed a couple of badly marked turns - and it was the worst riding of day. There was way too much traffic, and the worst drivers I have experienced in France.
The castle where I almost got run over
I did meet a couple of German tourists in that section, which was nice, and I could have taken a bike path to avoid the worst of the traffic, so perhaps it isn't as bad as it seemed at the time, but mainly I just wanted to get out of there. I was able to do that when I went back across the river at Grolejac. It was now 12:30 - I'd spent about an hour on the other side of the river - so I stopped for lunch and to clam down at the Dupont (The Bridge) hotel/restaurant on the south side of the river. I had a very pleasant, hour long - that is fast food in France <grin> - lunch then took D50 down the south side of the river. What a different riding experience!
D50 with bicyclists
N20 at Souillac
I rode north past Cressenac, looking for a small road that would take me across the autoroute to roads that I could take north-east to near Brive. I couldn't find the road. When I entered Limosin province, I was running out of N20 - it joins the autoroute, so I took D19e, my last chance to go east, at Nespoules. It worked, but took me out into the woods where I rode on , hoping that it would reach D8 as my, not completely trustworthy, software showed.
In the wood on D19
Heading north on D8
After reaching D8, it was fairly easy to make my way north to E70, the expressway that runs east from Brive. Fairly easy meant I only needed three stops to check my mapping software and figure out where I was and how I should proceed.
Brive, off to the east, from D162
E70, the expressway
In the second tunnel
Except for the tunnels, riding was OK, and fast. I reached Tulle about 7 PM, stopped for a quick supper at McDs, and rode into town. Tulle is a decision point on my routing, so it is a good place to stop for the night.