Day 37 Wednesday 29th June 2016 123km (3406km in total)
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” – G.K. Chesterton
For some odd reason, I can only seem to find vanilla black tea in Europe. I first tried it a few years ago on a cycling holiday in France. I love the taste of it, a nice change from normal black tea. Even though its made by Twinnings, of LONDON, I have never found it in the UK. Jean and Magali luckily had one teabag spare, so that and the traditional continental breakfast filled me up nicely. I don’t often have a proper English cooked breakfast, but they couldn’t understand why you would want eggs, tomatoes or beans in the morning!
With my rear wheel still wobbling, Jean had offered to ride with me to a local bike shop. Like normal, the mechanic’s first response was “you’ve got too much weight and luggage!” He didn’t have any spare wheels, due to the size and needing to be strong. However, he re-trued it and I crossed my fingers this would be the last time! This is the fourth time!
It was already after 10am when I eventually left, so the sun was high in the sky. The last few days it had been cooler, well, 29°c! Today it was back to 30 plus.
Jean had suggested I follwed the coast to Montpellier, which was a two day ride away. This was longer then cutting across country but hopefully flatter. There was a cycle route some of the way, but soon as I left Nice, I seemed to loose all sight of it.
I kept of the coast road which was quieter than the last few days. Sometimes it can be much longer following the coast, as it constantly goes in and out, climbing between the cliff edges. I felt slightly lost at times and had to keep checking the map that I wasn’t doing pointless detours.
Passing through Cannes, I met a friendly German, who had near fluent english after living in America for a few years. I could see him eyeing up my bike, and he said seeing me took him back to his youth when he had done a similar adventure.
Out of Cannes and the landscape seemed to change, to open, orange cliffs and little grass. In Italy, although it was hotter it had evidence of rain from all the green in the landscape. However here, it seems much drier, perhaps it’s hotter all year.
The sun, the hills made today a struggle, especially after yesterday’s speedy ride with Hamadi. There was just one hill left to get to the campsite. It reminded me of the roads in Majorca, which I was lucky enough to visit on a training camp in February.
The hill went up and up, twisting around the many hairpins. The road was smooth tarmac and very quiet. Arriving at the top felt a little eery! It was covered in light sea mist and deadly silent. It was a shame the clouds blocked the view but I could vaguely make out the coastline. The decent was even steeper, dropping sharply to the coast.
Each day it seems harder and harder to pitch my tent! The ground is either rock hard or sandy. The tent isn’t self-supporting so needs to have at least around 10 pegs in. Most of the pegs are now slightly bent from all the knocking with stones!