Mont Ventoux by Brompton – Stage 4

Bromptoux Day 4
Stage Distance: 40 miles (approx)
Stage Start: 8:00am

After the previous day’s exertions, we weren’t in too much of a hurry to leave. But we remembered the near perfect cycling weather from the morning before, coupled with the very hot conditions when we rode from Avignon. So it was another early start.

We quickly packed down the tent, loaded up the bikes and rode out of Villes Sur Auzon. Our stay had been brief but successful. With Mont Ventoux behind us, both figuratively and literally, we cycled towards Avignon.

The ride to Avignon passed without incident. It was gently downhill and we made excellent time, getting into Avignon before 10am. We even managed to avoid riding on the ring road, which made for a far more pleasant experience. Soon we were in the historic centre, taking in the sights of the famous bridge and town walls.

The bridge at Avignon
The bridge at Avignon

Avignon

Purely by change the Avignon performing arts festival was also happening. It is like a French equivalent of the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and the streets were full of people, enjoying street performances and queuing for tickets for shows. Co-incidentally, when we rode the Coast and Castles route last year, we finished in Edinburgh when the festival was on. Again , purely by chance.

Essential cycling equipment
Essential cycling equipment

While sitting in a cafe we met another English cycle tourist, Louise, who was cycling from the UK to Morocco. She’d had a hard time through Northern France, with bad weather, and was enjoying both the summer sun and the festival. It was great to catch-up with someone also on a tour, albeit somewhat longer than ours.

IMG_20140719_112609
In Avignon

After wandering around for a while we chanced upon a great park up above the castle. The views were fantastic, including views of Mont Ventoux. It seemed strange to think that, only yesterday, we cycled to the top of the mountain we could see.

We've been there!
We’ve been there!

Unfortunately, due to the festival, we had a hotel a fair way out of the centre. The, proudly 1 star, hotelf1 was functional. It had beds. That was about it, the toilets and showers being shared on each floor made for a different, part camping, part hotel, experience. We dumped our stuff quickly and went back into town.

In the evening we had an excellent time, watching street performances and enjoying some great food and drink. The town was heaving with people and the atmosphere was excellent.

Going Home

The following morning it was time to go home. We caught the 8:57am train from Avignon to Paris, cycled across Paris again, then caught the Eurostar home to London, arriving at 15:30. Getting from the south of France to home in six and a half hours isn’t bad 🙂

Time to go home :)
Time to go home 🙂
Packed up
Packed up

Reflecting on the trip, it was a pretty manic few days. We cycled a total of about 100 miles, cycled up a 1912m mountain, went 45mph on a Brompton, and all in 4 days. Excellent fun.

 

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