I headed south east and ended up in a campground near Digoin for €13.
It’s not legal to wild camp in France. Today's ride was 580 km which was slow going at times. Besides the roadworks and detours the speed limits are 30, 50, 70, 80 and when things got good 110 km/h in France.
There was so many roadworkses and detours getting out of Germany, it was tiresome.
There are lots of toll roads in France so I use the none toll roads, it’s a bit slower as you go through small towns, but it’s a lot more interesting than the motorway.
Today I found a strange French village with stick men, colourful cow and further on my travels one of the grossest scenes imaginable.
Today I continued south west and stopped at Oradour-Sur-Glane.
On 10 June 1944, four days after D-Day, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Haute-Vienne in Nazi-occupied France was destroyed when 643 civilians, including non-combatant men, women, and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company as collective punishment for resistance activity in the area including the kidnapping and subsequent execution of Waffen SS Sturmbannfuhrer Helmut Kämpfe, who was burned alive in front of an audience. Kämpfe was a highly decorated commander in 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich.
The Germans murdered all people they found in the village at the time, as well as people brought in from the surrounding area. The death toll includes people who were merely passing by in the village at the time of the SS company's arrival. Men were brought into barns and sheds where they were shot in the legs and doused with petrol before the barns were set on fire. Women and children were herded into a church that was set on fire; those who tried to escape through the windows were machine-gunned. Extensive looting took place.
All in all, 643 individuals are recorded to have been murdered. The death toll includes 17 Spanish citizens, 8 Italians, and 3 Poles.
Six people escaped the massacre. The last living survivor, Robert Hébras, known for his activism for reconciliation between France, Germany, and Austria, died on 11 February 2023, aged 97. He was 18 years old at the time of the massacre.
The village was never rebuilt. A completely new village was built nearby after the war. President Charles de Gaulle ordered that the ruins of the old village be maintained as a permanent memorial and museum.
After there I continued south west but not for too long. The 31°C heat and the droning of the tyres at 110km /h was starting to put me to sleep. I found a municipal camping ground near the river Dordogne.
After putting the tent up I was lathered, so decided to cool off in the river. Talk about shock treatment bbrrr!!! Once I was in it was quite pleasant, it got deep quite quick so my legs had to move quick so I didn’t get washed down stream as the current was flowing quite quickly in places.
Would you believe it, just as I was packing up this morning it chucked it down. Another day I’ve packed a wet tent.
Off on my way the temperature climbed quickly, all the way to 34°C. This is getting me prepared for Morocco. It was that hot that I drank all the water in my Camelbak.
I parked up to find a supermarket to buy water. It was such a hassle in the heat that I asked a florist if I could fill my Camelbak with water from her tap. She agreed and I was on my way again.
The traffic today was bad, I rode a 5 km traffic jam, I rode past the car's lane splitting and then on my way.
Today's site was the Millau Viaduct.
As of 2020 it was the tallest bridge in the world at 336.4 metres tall. It was designed by Englishman Normon Foster. The bridge was completed in 2004.
I continued south and into the hills, along twisting roads, finally some action for the outside of my tyres.
I’m camped up at a municipal campground near Durban Corbieres.
Tomorrow I will be in Spain.
Not much sleep last night as the neighbours liked to chat amongst themselves until the early hours of the morning, so felt a bit tired before I even started today.
After phoning home, I was on my way at 10am, which is a late start for me.
I took the back roads out of France, seeing as it was Sunday the traffic near the French/Spanish border was horrific, I managed to lane split so got through a bit quicker. There was a food festival on and that was the cause of the congestion.