So after my bitter diatribe yesterday, I thought I should write today’s blog which is along a much happier tone. You have heard about my hill. Well it really was a great hill with over a 33% grade and it really was hard push my bike up it. But two good things about that hill. The view from the hostel in full daylight was pretty impressive and walking the bike down the hill with some brake pressure applied really wasn’t that hard. Some may ask why didn’t I just cycle down. Well, I am not insane and Bryan who does take a few more physical risks than I wasn’t either. So our day had a good start except for another dreaded Continental-style breakfast. Bryan is getting a little testy about this and I am sure will enjoy being back in North American with a wider selection of breakfast foods. Me, breakfast never was my favorite meal so it is hard to ruin it.
We are roughly following a path outlined in the book “Europe by Bike: 18 tours” that goes from Carcassonne to Genoa. Alas we do not have time to complete the entire path but will go as far as we can before we feel anxious about getting into Italy to catch our plane in 9 days. Today we decided to vary from the published path which was a good decision. The original path was to go down a fairly, busy regional highway for a distance. Unknown to us, our chosen path actually consisted of cycle paths and took us past a few great sites. First the Canal du Rhône as it goes past Fortignon and Sète is an embanked area in the middle of water. It is strange seeing a water path with walls in the middle of water. This same body of water also had flamingoes. Real flamingoes. Not stuck in the lawn or kept as pets. And yes they are pink and stand on one leg.
It was a nice sunny day again but a cool wind. We didn’t have a set destination when we started and we were in no hurry. To the point that we stopped for a three-course meal at noon in a small town to the south of Montpellier. Very good food served in a wine cellar-type atmosphere. Then we got on the bike and headed back to the Mediterranean.
I rather half-jokingly asked Bryan if he wanted to go for a swim when I saw a man and woman wading out from the water onto the beach. I didn’t actually expect him to say yes but he did. So we decided to get a hotel room on the beach and go for a dip in the Med. Now this is the South of France and the weather is definitely warmer than it is at home, but it is still November. The water looked attractive but it was COLD. I, being female, did find Bryan’s reaction rather humourous as he kept saying “my balls, my balls” as he hopped about clutching his mentioned body parts. It did take some adjusting but I rather enjoyed the gradually-sloping sandy bottom and the interesting perspective that being in the water gave to both land and sea. But after a little floating, splashing, wading, and swimming we decided that our fingers and toes were going numb, although Bryan was no longer hopping about in utter discomfort by that time. He did say it took a long time for his mottled feet to regain full sensation.
For supper we had a surprisingly good three-course meal for only 12 Euros each. We had taken books along as meals tend to take a couple of hours and we sometime just like to enjoy each other’s company without talking. But today, our books layed closed as we mused about the end of our trip and plans we have for the next couple of months. Ahh, real life is coming our way.