We left Sault this morning to cross Provence to Avignon, our final destination. The sun was shining but it was cold as the Mistral was blowing. We were expecting an easy 80km ride. Great, it was all downhill at the start but it was cold. We arrived in the valley of the River Nesque to find delightful old farm houses, vineyards and a semi-dry landscape. Then our first hill took up to St Hubert to overlook the Gorges de la Nesque. In the distance we could see the Beast of Provence, Mont Ventoux, now high above us. If the Mistral is blowing hard here, it must be fierce at the Beast's summit.
We now had the first of two new experiences on our final day. A group of enthusiasts were driving some vintage cars and they stopped in front of us. Dagmar and I could not help but talk to one of the owners.
The French owner told us that his car was a 1932 Standard made in England. Behind it was a Bugatti. We peddled on to find a few cyclists and no motor bikes. A merlin soured overhead to remind us of wildlife here. After lunch our second surprise encounter was with a Swiss family on their bikes. The wife was on a fully loaded touring bike but the husband was most amazing. He had customised his bike into a tandem. His load included their daughter, tent and the dog. The daughter was sitting astride the tent as if she was riding a horse while the dog had its own special basket. Anyhow we peddled more or less side to side with them to Avignon and the last we saw of them was cycling up one of Avignon' main streets. The family reminded me of a modern day Swiss Family Robinson.
Dagmar's skills for organising this trip are amazing. She must be the best cycle guide in Germany. But she is not a guide at all for we are both good friends and I hope one day to show her an amazing cycle route that she does not know. We peddled into Avignon and wandered around its ancient streets. I like the Pont d'Avignon best
Badger has also had a thrilling trip. Has he decided whether to stay with Dagmar or me? That will be in my next blog.