I rode my first metric tonne today (100 kilometres, which is just over 8 miles in old money 🙂 The first 20 or so kms were in driving rain, on a busy road in rush-hour, uphill. I had climbed two cols before you had your breakfast, although I’d rather be having your breakfast than climbing hills (well, almost).
Things had to get better and they did. In the final hour or so, I was cycling in sunshine, along a straight flat path, lined by cypress trees. I am over half way through the journey. I deviated a little from the major route today. Some of this was intentional but I got a little lost, too. I saw some beautiful compact hamlets, full of the old and the new, immaculately tendered, away from the beaten track. It was a part of France I had hoped to see. I wish I could do this more.
A lowpoint came early this morning when, after a fitful night’s non-sleep, a lorry collecting rubbish rudely interrupted my tossing and turning by sounding its squealing sirens as it reversed. It was 4.30am. I was due to be up at 6.30. It was raining so heavily that I couldn’t sleep. When I pushed the bike onto the busy main road I thought of giving up. I am glad I didn’t. After doing the metric tonne I don’t feel nearly as bad for staying in a hotel tonight. The hotel owner ushered me into a back room when he told me he would store my bike. I was tired and grateful to receive his kind welcome.
Tomorrow I go deeper into Provence. It should be a great trip when I can work out to get there. It should be sunny, too. I’ve become obsessed by the weather in southern France. Go on, ask me what temperature it will be in Nimes tomorrow at midday?
As I type I am laying on a hotel bed. Things are looking up. I am looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow morning. But until then, a long sleep awaits…