Saturday 2 August 2008

Mountain biking in Le Lot in France

July was an amazing month. 3 weeks mountainbiking in the Lot in France and the last week of July I saw my nephew for the first time since February.
It was ultra relaxing yet active holiday. It started out in Freesland, on the farm of a friend, where I got back to nature, feeding the cows and moving them to a new piece of ground to graze on. Which sounds easy, but they weigh a tonne, they don't like to be moved, and look quite menacing when they are racing towards you at 10km p/h!
After an amazing weekend, we headed off to France, in the rental car with our bikes on the back. Only to turn back 4 minutes down the road, as the bike rack had falled off, dented the hire car and damaged our bikes in the process. But rather than give up on the mountainbiking holiday, we decided to just hire bikes down there, as we did not trust bike racks anymore after our scare. Hiring bikes is definately not the best solution, as we spent the first 3 days in agony, swearing and cursing the bike rack and shitty bikes, but that did not take away from the fun of the mountainbiking.
The Lot in France is next to the Dordogne, it is lushous green and undulating, with gorgeous little hamlets nestled among the hills. It is absolutely brilliant for mountainbiking, as the uphills are not too challenging and the downhills just go on forever through the woodland. The weather was on our side too, only 5 days of rain out of 18, which isn't bad for that area of France, quite a pain when you are putting up the tent, but once it is up, you don't mind the rain so much.
We had the trails pretty much to ourselves, and when we did come across people they were hiking and moved out the way pretty quickly especially in the downhill sections. We had so much fun that we are considering going back next year as there are literally hundreds of routes you can do. BTW we did relax too and see some gorgeous nearby towns and villages, it was not all racing down hills.

Of course coming back to real life was a little difficult, but the holiday blues quickly passed as I got to see my nephew Naseem again. I had not seen him since February when I was in Brasil. He was adorable, and this time, he was more than happy to spend time with his aunty, running me ragged round the garden, soaking me with the water hose and then quietly listening to stories I read him or playing concentration games I made up. I think he really did enjoy my company and maybe he will remember me next time we see each other. I hope that won't be too long.

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