Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mistral blows us south

Time to move on, heading towards the Grand Canyon du Verdon.  Nearest large place is Aix-en-Provence.  We were here about 34years ago and fairly close at Aups a few years ago.  Found a good site, Le Vieux Colombier, about to close this weekend, at Moustiers, a small town perched high among the rock face, which marks the beginning of the Verdon Gorge. It is built around a cleft in the rock face with a chapelle right at the top.
By the end of our first day, we knew the whole of the Gorges very well!  We cycled out clockwise to La Palud, via the Col D'Ayen, and around the Route des Cretes, with vertiginous views into the Gorge, thousands of feet below, to the icy blue river.  The route is a balcony route for 15 miles which offers the closest views of the gorges.  After that we joined the main route and carried on clockwise to Trigance, a medieval town high on the hillside.  Then ascending the Rive Gauche, to the Balcon de Mescla and a coca cola, to the total height of around 1200m, the highest point of the gorges road.  Cars and the occasional coach passing, stopping and re passing us.  Finally descended into Moustiers Sainte Marie, having cycled 74mls and 8400' ascent!  phew!  Lovely day and great cycle ride.
That night we were too tired to cook so ate at the local brasserie having the  plat du jour of cabaillard. We took it hoping it was fish as neither of us knew! Ian suddenly thought it was eel but thankfully it was hake and really good.  We didn't want a repeat off the "tete de beau" incident!
The day after we cycled a circular route to Tourtour, where there was a small market selling beautiful figs, half a dozen in the back pocket for 65 cents! Would cost more than that each at home!.  Then Aups followed by circuit of the Lac de St Croix. Stopped for colas and coffee so not too stressful but still managed another 64 miles!
Rest tomorrow when we set off for Le Bourg d'Oisans. The weather has been fantastic and is forecast to continue until Saturday so risking going into the high mountains, for another last minute gasp, literally!
24 degrees when we arrive in Bourg!

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