Le Tour de Vineyard

Trip Start Jul 02, 2011
1
10
24
Trip End Aug 01, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Provence,
Monday, July 11, 2011

Today is our last ride on the first leg of our trip. After yesterday's big effort we decided to take in a circuit of the regional vineyards, which is a 53km loop with not a lot of climbing according to our supplied notes.
The day started late, for those who didn't catch the update to yesterday's blog we had a bit of a night out last night. Let's just say, copious quantities of alcohol MAY have been consumed, and we MAY have gotten home at about 1am. I have a theory, the more alcohol consumed the louder and more guttural one snores. It's just a theory I thought I'd share.
Anyway for some reason I got up feeling quite tired and not very rested.
I left for Bedoin before Jeff and Tom who seemed a little slow this morning. We agreed to meet at 10am in front of a pub we may or may not have visited the night before.
Monday is market day in Bedoin. They put on a huge show with all manner of things for sale from pottery, lavender, material, shoes, lace, food, veggies, the list goes on and on. Tom and Jeff turned up at the pub by about 10:30am. We set off on our ride with the sun already getting very hot. We wound our way throughout the very picturesque vineyards of the area. It's amazing that many of the vines seem to be planted in nothing but rock. We also visited an old chateau ruin up on a hill. Tom sweet talked the guy on the door to waiving the 5 eruo per head entry fee and we spent a good amount of time exploring the ruins which have been partially restored.
We continued on our loop now in the heat of the afternoon sun, vineyards all around us. It was not an overly steep circuit but there was plenty of up and down which sapped your energy. At one point we had to take the bikes over about 3kms of dirt track over a hill. This brought us to one of the prime wineries in the area. By this time we were more interested in getting out of the sun and getting something to eat rather than sampling wines. It took until about 2:30pm before we found and looked for somewhere to eat. We sat at one place and looked at the menu but decided we'd go elsewhere. After a quick circuit of the area we went back as nothing else seemed open. Unfortunately they told us the kitchen was now closed even though we were there 10 minutes earlier. With our spirits flagging we headed out of town and luckily spotted a cafe that hadn't closed and agreed to make us lunch. After lunch we push on and finally got back to our hotel about 4:30pm, very tired and very thirsty.
Tomorrow we get a taxi transfer to Avignon (yes, I'm sure!). The plan is to spend the whole day in Avignon before getting a late train to Toulouse. 
This is the end of part one of our journey. We have climbed some of the most famous mountains in Tour De France history but in reality all we have really done is put I some training for what we are about to attack in the Pyrenees.
Bring It On!
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