Sunday, May 15, 2011

Escape from Provence

Without a plan besides seeing more Provençal cities that were supposedly neat, we headed west out of Orange. We quickly felt the pull of the Rhone as the land flattened and the traffic turned more industrial. We crossed a bridge, a long, slender island between channels, and some locks and were suddenly west of the Rhone.

Some wrong turns and some kilometers later, we arrived at the city of Uzes, an obviously European city, since the entire, plus-beaux village is one giant roundabout. We were under-inspired. However, that night an rogue wifi connection in the camping showed that we could bid adieu to Provence and keep heading west into a Parc National. On the far side of Parc National Cevennes was Millau, a town with a train station that looked a couple of days of riding away. On the map were lots of green-underlined small roads, which mean scenic and untrafficked. Which is normally a good bet.

I < 3 poppies

The next morning, despite our best efforts in Orange and Uzes, we were still out of stove fuel, and therefore, coffee. We headed back into town for caffeine so that our brains would function. We held council over a map and cafe. The synchronicity of the prior night continued. As it came to pass, beside us was a Frenchman who lived in Uzes and built bikes and when he saw that we were avec velo and pondering a map, he offered to advise us on a route. We left with several circles scribbled on our map, and feeling a little pleased, since our gibberfrench seemed more intelligible than normal.

Heading into the hills

Roadside attractions

The going was going to be good.

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