Friday, December 8, 2023

Advent postcards, Aulnay Charente-Maritime


French Village Diaries cycling adventures Advent postcard Aulnay Charente-Maritime
Advent postcards, Aulnay, Charente-Maritime

Advent day eight

The jet stream has once again turned on us, bringing wild, wet and windy weather this weekend. We did have exciting cycling plans, but for the moment, it looks like we’ll have to take a rain check in the morning – keep your fingers crossed please. At least I can look back on our summer fun and remember that wonderful feeling of the heat of the sun on my skin.


Aulnay, in the Charente-Maritime has been an important stop for pilgrims on the Chemins de Saint Jacques de Compostelle for hundreds of years and a special place for us since our first St Jean d’Angeley 100km-day cycle route in 2017. There is something quite magical about reaching Aulnay and the last twenty kilometres of the day.


This year Aulnay has featured twice on our cycling calendar. As well as being our last cake-break and offering cool shady grass to lay down on, with a view of the impressive church spire, on our 100km a day, it was also a cycle ride destination to explore it more on a Terra Aventura adventure. This, once again, took us to hidden places we’ve missed, and pointed out so much more details than we’d noticed despite many years of cycling here.


The church of St Pierre dates from the 12th Century and is a beauty. The spire draws you in from many kilometres out, and once you stand underneath the enormous carvings on the arched doorways, there is so much to see, one visit isn’t enough to appreciate it all.


I can’t wait to return to Aulnay next year, celebrating not only turning 53 but ten years of birthday 100kms-in-a day-bike rides.  

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