Already ten days!
Here it is, it's been more than a week roll! At the same time it went super fast and at the same time one has the impression that it's been long that it is gone!
In happened things! Small balance sheet of the first week...
Des paysages vraiment variés : depuis Larzac avec ses buis, sapins, et hautes herbes jaunes, jusqu’aux champs d’oliviers et aux vignes ; on est dans des belles régions, du coup on a eu la chance de toujours trouver de supers endroits pour dormir… Mais la semaine ça a été aussi : beaucoup de vent et beaucoup (trop) de piqûres de moustiques. Alors pour nous remotiver, nous avons pu trouver plein de bonnes choses à cueillir dans la nature : des amandes (beaucoup d’amandes, merci Erwann !), des figues sauvages, du raisin, du Thym pour les pâtes… Mais promis on fait attention : “into the wheel” mais pas “into the wild” ! 🙂 En tout cas, tout est tellement meilleur cueilli directement sur l’arbre !
It held our rhythm of 60kms per day, no less, and never much longer.
Go, little summary of the last days.
Departure from the campsite in the direction of the Camargue. The wind accompany us again, face, or more or less, but never back... All day we crossed fields full of black bulls and white horses, it's superb! At AIGUES-MORTES, pretty village within fortifications, it crosses the first cyclo-tourists of the journey: an American grecquo and a polonaise. It will find family in Athens then exchange contact information: who knows, maybe our paths will recroiseront!
After a few extra kilometers and the crossing of a river by a ferry, we arrive at the Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, village at the entrance to the Park of the Camargue. This is where we take the dam to the sea, long road that crosses the Western Camargue is. Between sea and Marsh, the nature is beautiful. No luck for birds, as there is not much today. But we encounter when even a few seagulls, seagulls and Flemish roses. The road is so beautiful that even the wind does affect not our pleasure. At the end of the dike we find Thomas parents who spend one last night with us. The night will be in the Camargue (just out of the protected National Park), sheltered from the wind. Lying Beau of guaranteed Sun!
We leave to the North! The good news: we have wind in the back! The bad: the wind is much less strong... At noon, we in Arles and it is market day: we find potatoes, grilled chicken and a little shade in a park, and presto, we cook a great breakfast!
We head towards les Beaux de Provence: village with a castle, perched about in height, in the Alpilles (small chain of mountains in the corner, it's not the Alps but it climbs well anyway!). The climb is rude, luckily it is 6 p.m. and it is over too hot; end of day lights are beautiful and the pictures to allow breaks! But personally, I have a little sore so I'm enjoying not at bottom of the beauty of the landscape. Finally it was worth: as promised, the village is superb, all stone with a view in the distance.
Below the Castle, we find a small chapel at the sunset with place to ask our two tents, a view over the whole Valley, away from prying: still a spot perfect for overnight!
Upon awakening, the mist and the rising sun play with the mountains and the Valley. While we quietly range camp, a local who walks his dog passes by, and starts we summarize in a few moments the history of the city, first men to our days, passing by the Greeks, then the Romans. Too well!
After an hour of pedaling, in a village, a nice surprise: it is the feast of green olives! Market of local products, especially brass band and long procession of people dressed in uniforms of the time. This is a wonderful show! It is really like in another time!
We do not too long stop in this village feast, we must move forward in Salon-de-Provence: our 2 friends James and Geraldine resumed early afternoon train, it was really nice to pedal all 4 this week.
We resume the road both now! The end of the day rises quite, towards the Var. The spot of the evening will be even with a beautiful view, in the middle of forest.
The landscapes are stunning: hills with large fields of olive trees and vineyards, alternating with forests of oak, pine and others. One sometimes has the impression of no longer being in France so it is exotic. We have a beautiful country that we know bad finally! The villages are often perched high, while pierre; the streets are narrow. It's superb. At the last village of the day (Varages), we begin the discussion with the elders of the corner, gathered around the fountain in the square. "It is the Prefect who put this inscription (non-potable water), us is drunk from all the time, and my faith is not yet dead!". Fill our gourds. "The Chapel? I have my garden just below""I'll see you from my window!' "Don't sleep in the ruins" On sleep at the Chapel, each wanting to explain to us how to ride there in a joyous cacophony. For the second time in a few days, this is the perfect place! We enjoy the sunset on the village in preparing dinner (which will be without salt, the great damn of Thomas, our brand-new salt is being gutted in our bag a little earlier in the day...), telling us that there are really lucky. The view is worthy of a 4 star restaurant!
5 ème jour de pédalage. Nos corps commencent à être un peu douloureux : les fesses (et encore, ca va), les mains à force de tenir toute la journée le guidon, les cuisses à force de pédaler, et le dos qui est toute la journée courbé sur le guidon. On commence à se transformer 🙂
The wind is back for this day, and from the front or side, with gusts strong enough: it sometimes stops us in full momentum in a descent. The morning remains bearable because we find small roads little travelled and very pretty. In the afternoon, it's harder: the 20 last kilometers are on a big road, wind and climbs to sometimes 10%...
"Fortunately, we know that this evening we shall sleep: we go to our first"Warmshowers"of the journey in Draguignan. After 10 days in the tent, it is a pleasure to find a sofa and chairs files, a real bed, a hot shower... It refills the battery!
Thanks much Philippe and Josiane for your super home!