biking the mediterranean travel blog

Rose and cheese in Tavel

in front of Pont du gard

arena in Nimes

pink flamingos in the Camargue

Horses in Camargue

Carrying saint tropes at the Bravades

Once I left Orange I was ready to see more and tatse some more wine. I stopped in Tavel and had a half bottle of rose. I got there late so lunch was closed but they served me a plate of cheese. Perfect combination! The manager was telling me that I should take the smaller road through Tavel and not the bigger road since it was very beautiful to ride through. He was so right and the vineyards of tavel are definitely worth seeing. It's cool to see the change in how the vineyards are set up. Like in Chateauneuf du pape, the vineyards had stones on the floor. These wern't round but flat stones. It definetely gave a great look and made the area very beautiful to look at. My next target was to see the Pont du gard which is this huge bridge made over 2000 years ago. It was realy cool to see and also a hang out spot for those of the area. The rivr that flows under neath it has some beaches and many people were swimming or sunbathing. It was kind of funny because it was really sunny one second and out of nowhere the rain came. I have never seen a beach empty so quickly. I than continued on to Nimes and saw the arena which happens to be the best kept arena in the world. I then continued on to Arles and slept there.

The next day I took off in the direction of the sea so that I could bike through Camargue. Camargue is protected region filled with wildlife. The white horses there were all over, The pink flamingos were hanging out in bunches and the Tauruses were huge. It was really cool to ride through this area and I would recommend it to everyone. I then continued on and was on a mission to reach the sea and I got to a town called Saintes-Marie-de-la-mer. Whne I got to the beach I was so happy and smiling. I went to this beach bar called Playa sol and had a Pastis and a Panache( beer with Sprite). Awesome!!! I then left and went east this is where things got hard. It turns out that this area is where the winds are the strongest of france. The Rone valley funnels the northern wind( Mistral) to the sea and let me tell you that it is strong. I biked for 3-4 hours against it and I barely managed to go 20 Km. It hit me from front and the side and it wore me down. When I got to the city of Fos-sur-Mer I was tired and hungry. I saw a pizza truck an dordered the largest and most filling pizza, the Royal pizza. I have never eaten a pizza so fast. I mean imagine an extra large pizza and now imagine it gone in 5 minutes. Funny thing was that I was still hungry after. I slept good that night.

The next day was one of my least favorites. The wind was still playing with me, I got lost and I had to bike through Marseille. Originally I was excied to see the great city of Marseille, but no more. Its to crowded and hard to bike through. I was following my Iphone GPS and it brught me to this park which forced em to take apart my bike to get into. I then foolwed the road up. It was steep and soon the road became nothing less than rocks and a trail. I had to turn back and I was forced to stay in Marseille which was not at all what I wanted to do.

The next day I really enjoyed for two reasons. First, I get to leave Marseille and second

i get to leave Marseille. Well it was actually a terrific ride up above Marseille with some great views. I biked by Cassis, Ciotat, Bandol, Sanary sur mer, and it was beautiful. They were a bunch of little beach towns with ports. The beaches were ebautiful and the water of the sea was a beautiful shade of blue. I stopped alognt the way for lunch and it was a great little lunch overlooking a beach and the sea. I arrived in Hyeres that night and met my host Olivier and his family. I ate with them and discussed possible routes to take and things to see. They were a very nice family and definetely very active. They had like 10 bikes, 7 canoes, a trailer home and got rid of their TV so that the TV does not manipulate them.

The next day I was excited to get to St Tropez and hang out there. I did some laundry and ate some food. I found out that the annual Bravades festival was starting that night. It has been going on for 450 years and it is to celebrate the Saint tropes who was decapitated because he would not be converted into a Christian. One thing I noticed throughout my day there was this loud and thunder sounding noise that kept going on very few minutes. I later found out when I came into town that night that it was all part of this ceremony. There were about 50 men dressed as sailors and army who walked the streets with Muscat guns and shooting either the floor or the sky. They were followed by the priest and some men carrying a statue of Saint tropes. Behind the priest were the people of the town. They walked for a long time and I followed them until they finished in a church and the head priest did a prayer. Everybody was out that night and there seemed to be alot of rich people around since the port was filled with gigantic yachts. That night a local hid me in his property so that I could camp out. This ends this blog and my next blog will talk about my ride through french riviera and my entry into Italy.

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