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Race across France

From Spain across France via Pont du Gard and Mont Ventoux, to the Cote d'Azur

semi-overcast 28 °C

No one wanted to get up but we had to say our fond farewells to Paradors, sorry, Spain. As we drive off in the rain, the Pyrenees do let us have a last glance of their magnificence. The rain has not stopped the cyclists, with one coming down the mountains with us through the rain and the roadworks. in descent

in descent

We have a long haul today, 4 hours up past Montpellier. It is uneventful, and we set out again the next day to the Cote D’Azur where the plan is to enjoy the sun for a week, and get a bit of rest. But we have a couple of diversions today. The first is through to Pont Du Gard, the triple tiered aqueduct near Nimes built by the Romans 2000 years ago, and still largely intact. G and I walk up to see it, but you cannot get close due to a fireworks show being set up on it. It is magnificent though, yet again a reminder of what people were capable of before machines and engines.
Just like the Roman kids used to

Just like the Roman kids used to


The next diversion is all mine as we head up Mont Ventoux. This is of course the great mountain top stage finish used frequently in the Tour de France. Sadly, we are only driving up, but on this chilly Saturday there are a few hundred cyclists putting themselves to the test, some will make it, some will not and others look like they do this every weekend.
Beaten

Beaten

Mont Ventoux conditions

Mont Ventoux conditions

Next time I will ride it

Next time I will ride it

I know if I jumped on my bike right now it would not be a pretty sight, but I am very envious of these guys – another reason to come back! The top is shrouded in fog which frightens the crap out of you when you are struggling to pass the wavering riders going up and then someone on descent shoots out of the fog at 50 kph.
Couldn't catch him

Couldn't catch him

At the top it is cold, but there are plenty of happy faces around. We don’t hang around long, and are soon coming down in the fog and being passed by cyclists. Also pass a Porsche rally on their way up.Porsche rally, Mont Ventoux

Porsche rally, Mont Ventoux


On we go, onto the motorways and shelling out more tolls to get across to Le Bar Sur Loup in the hills above Cannes. Getting to the right motorway turn off is easy, but getting further is difficult until we read our host’s directions properly. We arrive just in time to unload and jump in the pool – apart from L who is off to shop for dinner. When she is back we hop out to provide minimal assistance, and tuck into a great pasta dinner before watching “Asterix and Obelix” the English version. Great culture.

Posted by lostagain 04:47 Archived in France

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