Thursday, 24 April 2014


Avignon at last. The sun was shining with heat and intensity that I had forgotten about when I met Dagmar so used have I been to our winter.
Yesterday, it was a 24 hour train journey from Plymouth. I had become an involuntary train spotter such was the length of the journey. French trains win one count by providing excellent coffee but British trains are far superior for carrying bicycles. Every British train carries bikes and they are easy to book. In France, a TGV goes to Avignon every 30 minutes but only one a day carries bikes and it is very hard to book. I could have saved at least 6 hours if the British run French trains.

Dagmar had fixed up to meet German cyclist, Frank, who lives in Carpentras and regularly cycles up Mont Ventoux. Feeling slightly out of my depth but nevertheless keen to meet him we set off in all this glorious sunshine.

Luckily for me, coffee culture works for everyone here so I did not show my lack of speed up too greatly. Frank rode with us for a couple of hours as we left the Rhone behind us and peddled along quiet lanes surrounded by vineyards. I heard my first cuckoo of the year and saw a few white horses in a paddock. Our next stop was Pont du Gard, an aquaduct built by the Romans and in a remarkable state of repair

We ended our day at Vezenobres, a medievil village south of Ales having completed 50 miles (80km)

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