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Catching up!!

Updated: May 22, 2023

Last couple of days have been a whirlwind so I'm going to have to abreviate to get back up to speed.

I left Geneva on Saturday and to my surprise (and gratitude) I somehow avoided the forecasted rains. I removed the 45# of gear from Frankie and took the train from Geneva to Lyon then onward to Avignon. The first, a local train in which you have to hang your bike, the second, a high speed you can lean it in a designated bike space that you must reserve. Ultimately all went well and I met a wonderful French couple on the second train that were beginning a similar route (via EV17). We had a great conversation about bicycle touring and French/US cultures.

At the Avignon station it took me a while to "rebuild" Frankie during which an inquisitive (65 yr old?) woman started to chat w me as she was intrigued by what I was assembling. We worked out the language barrier and had some good laughs. She had to leave to make her departing train but asked if I'd like her number so I'd know someone in Paris if I should ever come to visit. Super cool! I did not get any weird vibes but maybe a senior citizen just hit on me? 🤣 alll good, I'd be flattered regardless 😎

I cycled from the station around the river and into the old city district to my Airbnb. What a beautiful town! It's known for their theatre and they have a large festival in June to showcase the performaning arts. My flat was absolutely perfect and in the center of everything. I didn't get in until late on Saturday night so I was glad to have Sunday to explore the city. One of the highlights we their food Halles (or halls) fillled with the most incredible artisan purveyors you could image... formagerie, butcherie, boulangerie, fish, flowers, you name it. And such amazing prices too. If you have the chance to spend a day or two in Avignon I highly recommend!

After the market session I spent the afternoon taking a day ride up to Chateaunuf du Pape. It was a fun test ride (sans most bags) to visit the iconic Cote du Rhône wine village.

Both dinners in Avignon were spectacular and unbelievably priced (€27 for 3 coures).

Sunday I packed up... a long, time consuming exercise and headed north once again with Nyons as the destination. With a bike weighing in at about 65# and "Mistral" head winds at 30mph, it was brutal! Finally rolling into the campsite at 5pm I was smoked! I still had to find some dinner (salad & tabouli from the market back in town) but I was happy to have my tent set and a place to pass out. Nothing like drinking a 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from your camping mug 🤣🤣

I actually had a good night's rest but it was a slow morning overall. After showering, breaking down camp and packing up the bike ... coffee stop in town too... it was 11am! 🤪 Side note: you know you're in France when you're at a campground and can place a boulangerie order the night before have a croissant and baguette waiting for you in the morning. For €3 🤯

The winds were still NUKING, but I felt recharged and today's route was more westerly which certainly helped. Still head plenty of headwind but more manageable. The route itself was gorgeous. Mostly small one lane, backcountry roads that meandered through vineyards and farms 🙏💕 The scenery and feelings of gratitude made me forget all about the incessant winds.

Keeping it shorter today I rolled into Bollen, just a hop across the Rhône where I'll pick up the EV17 and begin to head north. Of course the winds (from the north) are supposed to be even stronger tomorrow but hey, you just have to keep on pedaling! Destination is Montelimar 👍 The winds should die down by Thur but then the rain starts marching in. Choose your poison! 🤣

ok, that was a long one but caught up... more or less. Stay tuned!

(the service here is garbage but I'll update this entry w a bunch of pics once I get some reliable wifi)

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Daphne Irwin
Daphne Irwin
May 16, 2023

I meant to ask you if you knew about ordering your croissants at the campground, but I see you have discovered that delightful service! Isn't that just the best! But that Mistral wind.....damn. Happy cycling 😎

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