Up until today, we have been riding mostly flat lands or slightly rolling hills. Today, we entered the Alpilles. Sounds a lot like “Alps”, don’t you think? They aren’t as high as the Alps, but for a prairie girl packing a 25 pounds in panniers, it was an unnerving prospect to ride some serious hills.
After of day of city sightseeing yesterday, we decided to head out on our bikes and experience some nature.
The Rhone River flows through Arles and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. The Camargue is a national park at the river delta. It is pronounced “Caw Marg” but the pronunciation “Caw Mar Goo” is stuck in my head. Whenever I say that to a local, they look at me with a most perplexed look.
After our unexpected delay in Toulouse, we finally make our way to Arles.
Arles is located in south central France about 35 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. An important port city since Roman times, Arles is a UNESCO world heritage site.
What a beautiful place! This morning we went on a 20 kilometer ride through the wine country of St. Emilion. (The tourist office in St. Emilion has maps with recommended cycle routes in the area. You can find them Here) There were miles, after miles, after miles of grape vines. We are very lucky to be here right now. The small country roads, hardly wider than a bike path, are busy with work trucks hauling grapes to be processed. The fields are busy with harvesting equipment and in some fields, workers picking the grapes by hand. The air is fragrant with the smell of ripe grapes. At noon, all of the work stops abruptly and people race in their cars home for lunch or settle in a shaded spot in the vineyard to enjoy a picnic lunch.
We have been nestled in Bordeaux for five days and we are missing the tranquility of the French countryside. It’s time to leave the hustle and bustle of Bordeaux behind. With the Roger Lapébie cycle path starting just beyond the edge of Bordeaux, we are excited to continue exploring more of the great cycling that France offers. Continue reading
Today didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
Bikes in tow, we caught the train out of Bordeaux before the sun was up, for a day of touring. Destination? Arcachon Bay and the Dune du Pilat on the Atlantic Ocean.
I’ve taken a little hiatus in Bordeaux, where we have been since Friday. It was a chance to catch up on the posts that I missed last week and relax a bit. We have had a low-key weekend here.