Around midnight thunder, heavy wind, heavy rain and also, through the outer laye of the tent even, but after about an hour it's over, inside the tent at the corners it's wet, I sleep on until about 6:30, 7:15 up, pack a whole tent wet, it dribbles, continue toward Pau, after 10m I see that the front tyre is flat, a small shard has to harmed the tube, managed to repair it in 20min, then go after 10km front tyre not hard, a hole again, no, the valve was not completely sealed, further. Pau, via side roads to Lourdes, initially flat, undulating then - finally Lourdes, almost through the entire city, call Lori J, and listen her long explanation why she could not come, everything's OK for me, I got used to ride alone. Then in the city, the incredible crowds on the streets, bazaars with Marie-statues, go to church or cave, the place feels very good, and many entities, (spiritual-)helpers, remained 30-40min and see around, then it is driving me to the direction of Bagneres, leaving Lourdes to Loucrup where I can find a good site for me, it is 18:00.
During the night it rained again, the tent wet outside, only a corner is wet this time, I wait until 8:00 before I get up, 9:00 departure to Bagneres de Bigorre, where I shop and eat breakfast. Next on the D938 after Capvern, this section is steep, but awesome view, downhill, uphill, then downhill and flat to Lannemezan, where I can repair the rear wheel, since quite some time (around 7 days) a broken spoke and the wheel more and more wobbles, for 7 euros repaired, paid with the 10 euro note I found before on the road. 13:30 arrived in Lannemezan, all stores closed, so I wait. The wheel centered, 5bar air in it, I can ride now again, I am 3-5 km/h faster than usual, some 30-35km/h instead of 20-25km per hour, great. Outside of St. Gaudens stops in front of me a car, a man and a woman get out, and I learn that he plans a bike tour in 2007, through France, Italy, Austria and Germany, with my little French we talk for a while, and I tell a little of my USA cycling trip I did in 2004. Finally, I continue, another 10-15min from the N117 away, and find a place in a small forest. I really wanted to cook today, but it rains a little, so I eat bread tonight. 20:00 already, I am in the tent, and studying maps again, meditating on the great day, in many ways. Thanks to all involved for the wonderful day!
Good sleep in the night, it was raining, and now the brilliant blue sky morning, the front tyre is half flat, I pump. On the N117 after Martres, Cazares and Carbonne, Capens, then hilly but with a great view to St. Sulpice sur Leze, Auterive where I still buy bread, then Nailloux where I feel my kidneys, the sun shining all day, a lot of wind I drunk again too little. Cardouch finally, and outside on the cycle route Canal du Midi, water fueling and a few kilometres further, no good sites, too close the canal or on the noisy highway, but ultimately I find a place, pitch the tent, drying, at a picnic site, 18:30, next to the canal. Cook dinner, a short rain, it will be cloudy, 20:00. Tent is dry inside and outside, the wind has dried everything. Going into the tent now, tschüss!
Has rained briefly, in the morning of sunny weather, but very windy. Have enormous headache in the night, very slow getting up, feel very tired, until 9:00 departure on the cycle route alongside the canal, suddenly these ends, and only a small street with too much pebble continues. I chose the N113 to Carcassonne is still Whit Monday, so little traffic. Sunny but windy. In Castelnaudry I can buy liquids again, buy breakfast, continue to Carcassonne, very nice area. Today, I would like to camp earlier to sleep earlier. After Trebes again along the canal, better way, and camp there, I then also, 16:00, put me to rest for an hour, then in the tent, go to sleep early, 19:00, it is very quiet here, thanks!
Around 6:30 awake, get up 7:30, 7:37 rain until 15:00, I choose to make a rest day, and the first full day of rest, wet inside a bit, too much rain to pack everything and go, nope, I simply do not have any motivation. Hanging around, too little sleep (still), toward 19:30 the tent is dry, I walk a little around, 20:30 into the tent again, so few lines until then!
6:30 awake, 7:30 up, clear blue skies, fierce wind from West. 8:00 departure, the canal until Puicheric, then everything continues to Beziers, with a tailwind 30-44km/h is easy. From there towards the sea, at Adge no access to the sea because expressway (no velo), to the coast after Sete, very beautiful city, has charm - where I get my first big hole through a piece of broken glass, after 15min (tube replaced mantle seems ok, closed hole in the mantle with superglue) through Sete, between Sete and Montpellier I drive a small gravel road uphill, and there find my sleeping place, thanks, in the morning, I had the image that I am on a hill with sea view, because it is ideal! The last section of the journey was difficult, very windy from the side, a lot of traffic, being driven until 17:00, enough, something to eat, SMS / email, diary entry, and sunset!
Port de Bouc
Brilliant blue sky, 7:00, 7:30 up, a lot of dreaming, 8:30 drive, Palavas, just buy something, then after breakfast, Aiges Mortes, then the Camargue regional park, Albaron, after Salin de Graud, a small ferry passing over, on expressway until finally Fos sur Mer, because I do not see campsite next to Port de Bouc, further near the a channel, a promenade along, a great place to camp & sleep, fairly in the village or town, but between 2-3 trees hard to discover. At sunset in the tent I write these lines. Oh yes, I have cooked again, Tortelini (cheese with spinach), has tasted moderately good, I stop the cheese and go vegan again, as usual, has enough salt.
6:00 awake, get up, the sun has not risen (does not shine yet where I pitched the tent), bicycle still wet from night moisture, I pack slowly so that the rising sun dries the tent. 8:15 going on the road, but after 2-3km, I must leave the road (nix velo), first to Martigues, find another path (no signposted for velo/bicycle), reaching over the city a huge bridge, center with real charm, but I quickly go through, then the signs for approximately 10km bike side street then return to N569, before briefly shopping. Next to La Rove, very beautiful, somewhat hilly, it is very warm, I go to Marseille, near the shore quickly to Gare Maritime, then bridge to the center, 5-6 lanes to the Boulevard St. Michelet and Avenue du Prado, which is a magnificent boulevard, about 5km long, slowly climbing, the direct road to Cassis, without a city map is not easy to find, as this road (Cassis) hardly signposted. So, after Cassis, 321Hm to cope with this at 13:30, also 1.5 hours for passage of Marseille, much better than with Bordeaux. The climb toward Cassis is hard because full midday sun, I have a tail wind, but here and there calm, then I notice how hot it is actually, for about 1 1/4 hours, I am at the top with wonderful view back to Marseille and direction Cassis. Departure quickly, Cassic first, to La Ciotat, again uphill, 200Hm about, but this time I feel very odd, when I get cold, once again too little eaten and drunk. Next to St. Cyr sur Mer, I like the name, but campsites are too expensive or too remote, I want to reach Cos. of St. Therese, but this is a 5-6km direction Bandol, which consumes on my substance, I am tired, hungry, thirsty, and get head and neck pain, covered too much, too little eaten and drunk, still - I don't have it under control, I am finally at the campsite (11.40 euros), a shower immediately, what a pleasure for more than a week, and wash clothes, and immediately hang up my stuff, already 17:30, no longer strong enough to the sun to dry everything. Eat and drink plenty of both, remains of yesterday, water or orange juice mixture, I recover slowly, regaining my power. 22:00 know, go to sleep, before a French family visited and was curious about my trip, impressed about my trip so far. 2:00 finally to the toilet, the organism is recovering, yet headache until the morning.
I sleep in until 9:30, unpack, drink lots of water, pay camping, call Melanie by phone for a while, driving direction Toulon, almost exclusively downhill, even buy food and drinking. Around 12:00 in Toulon, about 40min for passage, a lot of congestion in the city, three lanes cars, outside on N98 nix bicycle, no indication where to go, ask a MTB rider, who guides me a little of the way even - great. After about 2km, I am back on the N98, with velo/bicycle allowed, who understands this, but soon expressway again, nix velo/bicycle again, but bicycle path to La Londe. The places that I ride through are not even mentioned on the map, odd. Was a slower day, 17:30 next cycle route behind palm or bamboo bushes, right next to Highway approximately 150m is my sleeping place, did not have so much choice, all along the coast is densely populated. I am around France where my map has a hole due folded corner. The weather changes, it will be cloudy from the west. Go early in the tent, 20:00 clouds entire sky, well if it is cooler.
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- Page 1: 28.4. Lenzburg - Biel 106km, 29.4. Biel - Morges 126km, 30.4. Morges - Forges 93km, 1.5. Forges - Beaujeu 206km ...
- Page 2: 7.5. Chalus - Brantrome 82km, 8.5. Brantrome - Branne 125km, 9.5. Branne - Bordeaux - Pyla sur Mer 125km ...
- Page 3: 13.5. Lacq - Lourdes - Loucrup 90km, 14.5. Loucrup - St. Gaudens 82km, 15.5. St. Gaudens - Avignon et Lauragais 120km ...
- Page 4: 22.5. La Londe - St. Raphael - Antheor 103km, 23.5. Antheor - Ospedaletti 118km, 24.5. Ospedaletti - Savona 122km ...
- Page 5: 28.5. Brozzi - Firenze/Florence - Dicomano 71km, 29.5. Dicomano (Restday), 30.5. Dicomano - Volano 159km ...
- Page 6: 3.6. Martina - Zernez 46km, 4.6. Zernez - Flüelapass - Bad Ragaz 97km 800Hm, 5.6. Bad Ragaz - Oberdürnten 85km ...