Day 11: Voreppe to Montélimar, 145 km
Day 12: Montélimar to Montpellier, 156 km
Day 13: rest in Montpellier
Day 14: Montpellier to Valras-Plage, 89
Sometimes I can't get over how awesome cycle touring is. On Friday we had a fast 145 km ride through the French countryside. We were surrounded by mountains and rolling hills all day, with the occasional castle or ancient ruin here and there. It felt like most of the day we were either going downhill or on flats. At times, we were consistently riding at 40 km/h, and our average speed was 25 km/h. And at the end of the day we didn't even feel tired! It's crazy how quickly our bodies can adapt to so much cycling. As Nicole says, you just do it and your body is forced to deal with it. She's right!
Even on Saturday, when we rode from Montélimar to Montpellier--not the prettiest route with a good deal of traffic--we enjoyed ourselves very much. Again, the 156 km we rode didn't feel very difficult, and we did the first 100 km in a flash, before stopping for a longish break from the heat. It feels so good to get a lot of cycling in!
Our trip is winding down a bit now. We had a day off in Montpellier, where our host Florent showed us around town in the morning and we went swimming in the afternoon at le Pont du Diable and wandered around the small town nearby.
Today we cycled out to Valras-Plage, a small seaside town on the south coast of France. A lot of our way was on a beautiful bike path along the coast, and it was quite the leisurely ride. Florent helped us navigate our way out of Montpellier in the morning, which was awesome, since that city is not easy to get around by bike! We stopped in Sète for some tielle, a pastry filled with squid and tomato, a specialty of this region. We arrived here in Valras-Plage at around 3 pm, went swimming in the sea, ate on a patio and had ice cream. And tonight we are doing something quite luxurious: we are staying in a hotel! It really feels like we're on vacation now!
Only three short cycling days and we're in Barcelona!