Date
October 2nd, 2019
Author
Kay

2 October 

Tintin did food last night as I had a bit of a headache - mash potato and baked beans - comfort food in about three minutes!

Didn’t feel like doing too much, so caught up with the Sharon Osborne - Who do you think you are. It was bizarre, after that we watched some random American rubbish film - and it actually had Sharon Osborne playing Woody’s mum - strange of all the films to pick. 

I’d like to say I slept well, but didn’t - very frustrating. Mum - hope it’s not inherited! 

We had heavy rain, thunder and lightning for about 4 or 5 hours last night, stopping about 12.30am. 

This morning, I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I threw some sweets in the bin! I’d bought some Carambar - the acid/sour ones. I went to bed feeling my teeth weren’t clean despite repeated cleaning, my tummy was gurgling away from too much sugar, and my tongue was blue from the additives! I really should know better at my age!

Me driving today, but only about 30 minutes. Problem was co-pilot didn’t really know where to take us for the final park, so tried turning down one lane - err no! Had to drive on for about 2km before being able to turn around. Found some road side parking and walked back into town. The road we needed was closed due to a small market. Bought a baguette, ate that for lunch, then had another wander back to the market to see if it was all packed up. Only one lady there packing up, she moved her parasol, and said to just move the remaining barrier - so we did. We’re parked up in a little town called Villes-sur-Auzon. No services for Dave, but a fairly big, nearly empty carpark. 

Bikes out again and back in the saddle! 3 hours and just over 24 miles today. We wanted to ride some of the 20km long Gorges de la Nesque, which is a spectacular limestone canyon. 

There was a project in the 19th century to build a railway along the bottom of the Gorges de la Nesque, but it was subsequently abandoned. The only road running right through the canyon is the D942, which opened in 1920.

It's not single track, but it is still quite narrow, with few places to stop or pull over. The surface is well maintained but some stretches are lined by a sheer drop to the bottom of the gorges, with low barriers - or sometimes none at all.

We only went up about 400m, average gradient of 3% - so very different ride than yesterday! It was a lovely ride. Not as spectacular as the Gorges de Verdon, but good because there was very little traffic and more peaceful. 

Yes, apparently the sign does mean what you think it does!

There were a few tunnels carved out the side of the rock, being only 2.6m on one side - it’s the kind of road that co-pilot would want to take Dave on!

We rode as far as the belvédère Le Casterellas. That may have been the highlight of the day. There were wild boar wandering around, trying to find food! One had a chomp at Tintin’s pannier, then tried mine. Some other cyclists were giving them some food, then the boar picked up his backpack and tried to clamber over the wall with it! They did retrieve it! Motorbikes had to slow down, as another one was in the road. We stupidly decided to have a couple of biscuits, boy is their sense of smell good! We had to throw bits to them to get them away, one even tried to jump up at me. We fed them and legged it!

The word ‘wind tunnel’ makes more sense now, the few we rode back through were cold, obviously darker - and well - funneled the wind so well!

On the way down there was a solitary house selling honey. We stopped off, and there was another couple there. We each tried 8 different flavours, acacia tree, Rosemary, Lavender, oak tree flowers, linden blossom, wild flowers, blackberry, and chestnut. The chestnut was so bitter! We both liked the blackberry one best. Wouldn’t normally spend €7.50 on 250g of honey, but there’s that sort of feeling of obligation after trying the others. 

Went to visit one of her dogs. A lovely friendly dog, who reminded us of Stevie a little. He seemed delighted to get attention!

Those soft eyes
Those soft eyes

Further on the ride down a cyclist shouted out chèvre a la bas, which we worked out as goats further down. After a while we did indeed see two goats at the roadside. Bet they gave some drivers a shock! The black one just went up on his hind legs over the ledge and delicately plucked off some leaves - brilliant balance!

Today, I’ve only used the two lowest settings on my bike. It’s quite amazing that I got out of breath, riding downhill! because we were riding into the wind, and it was hard work. The most we could get to speed wise, was about 20mph downhill, and didn’t really have to use our brakes all the way back. 

There are so many olive trees around here. It’s also quite strange seeing so many vines planted on flat land, mostly we’ve seen vines planted on steep slopes. 

All in all a very pleasant day. Good planning to ‘do’ Mont Ventoux yesterday - can’t see the top today, covered in cloud - and it’s so windy - really wouldn’t have been enjoyable. 

It’s up there somewhere.
It’s up there somewhere.

Just a few more photos from today - 

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Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’. More...

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