OK OK so I maligned the weather in Cahors and it proved to me the next day that it really could be a "sunny southern backwater".
I left the Internet place in the rain on Saturday morning and returned to the hostel to change. Many hostels would have a "lock-out" for cleaning at lunchtime but the Cahors hostel is more relaxed. It is full of pilgrims walking the St Jacques French section from Le Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied du Port. ( No map here - excuse spelling svp!) Actually the hostel is so full of pilgrims you end up almost feeling guilty you are not when you have to proclaim you are a mere tourist!
Anyhow, I changed into dry jeans - a risky business as I only have two pairs! But there was finally some blue sky so decided to proceed with my previous plan of heading to the village of Puy L'Eveque by bus through a section of the Lot Valley. Beautiful bus trip. I love the landscapes in this area and would even like to return in the summer when I have built up more cycling stamina and strength. But I imagine that in the summer this area would be a bit like Queenstown in summer: hot and heaving with tourists.
Puy L'Eveque is a pretty village and was well worth the trip. But the highlight for me was actually finding some new (smaller) jeans and some bermudas ready for cycling. There were only a handful of shops open in the village but one sold clothes in all sizes. And what is even more amazing: they had a sewing machine on the counter and trimmed them and hemmed them to fit for no charge!!!!!
Sunday I took the walking tour of Cahors I had abandoned the morning before, then went to Mass in the Cathedral. I next went to check out when the boat tours on the Lot left but it was more than two hours. So I walked across the Pont Valentre. This time I went right over the road, and by accident found where the St Jacques walk continued. It even had a plaque with the more than 1000 km to Compostella marked. So I started on it, steeply uphill at first where the steps climbed up the cliff away from the Lot. But at a cross, one km away, got a wonderful view back to the historic bridge. Then walked for a few more kilometres through superbly beautiful countryside. But it got really warm....; so headed back to town, bought a boqt trip ticket for 4.30 pm, then sheltered under a tree for a while on the riverbank. The boat trip went through a Lock which was interesting.
And now I am in Orleans. Have the addresses from the Tourist Office of three bike shops I will check out in the morning. Voilà. The next phase begins!