We picked the hottest day of the trip to strike the first “mountain” stage. In fact hotter than I thought, we have just been sitting in the Fontvieille village square at 5pm turning some cold drinks to steam and the temperature just displayed on the village notice board as 34c.
They call the Alpilles, mountains, but as an idea of effort, they could be compared to the Coromandel ranges, high enough for plenty of haletant et soufflant which I think is French for panting and puffing but the roads were of a gradient that we could pretty much bike right up to the village.Unlike the bikes we had in Burgundy, the gears function on these and they are very light bikes as well.
Le Baux-de-Provence was well worth the effort, stunning little town in a stunning location with a surprising number of shops which Ruth seemed to feel justified in raiding like those invaders of centuries past who had attacked the village and chateau. In fact she decided to use up a lot of her “effort” credit by spotting a shop in Massuane that had some particularly nice jewellery and hey, I needed her to bike to the top, so she has a very nice and very different neck band now.
We are enjoying the difference of Provence as opposed to what we have already seen and, enjoying our accommodation which is set in a nice garden with a nice cool pool and they serve very nice meals on the terrace.
We are based here for three nights and head to Arles tomorrow to catch their Saturday market, maybe (not) a bullfight, and after just about getting Ruth roasted on the trip back today, no doubt I will need to purchase a few more credits for our next big leg on Sunday.