Thursday, May 5, 2011

The anti-spectacle of the Plateau de Valensole

The Verdon Gorge had been full of mighty towering limestone cliffs, sinuous downhills, and dramatic views from canyon walls into the depths of the river below. The beauty of the Verdon was definitely in-your-face, middle-of-the-magazine-pin-up type of spectacular. Monday's beauty proved to be a bit less sublime, but equally enjoyable.

At some point during our bike past the Lac St Croix we entered France's Alpes-Haute-a more pastoral, curvy, girl-next-door type of spectacular. For five hours we pedaled our beasts through hilly countryside full of pre-bloomed lavender, feral poppies, and grazing cattle. We stopped for goats crossing the road. We whizzed past rapeseed in blossom. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed the quiet landscape, disturbed only by frogs, ants, and crickets.

From Verdon

hand painted goat crossing sign

From Verdon

rapeseed in bloom

From Verdon

speak your language

From Verdon

empty roads in a bike mirror

We dropped to the river valley, biked our finishing touches on the Verdon circuit, and crossed the river towards Forcalquier where we would pick up the Luberon bike trail.

From Verdon

view of the river valley near Forcalquier

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular. Thanks for sharing the experience - made my business travel last week a lot more entertaining!