Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two days after Arles

We left Arles and headed into the marshland of the Camargue. We saw lots of white horses and rice fields as we rode some very small roads. The bullfighting theme was very prevalent in towns with ads for bullfighting festivals. We saw all sorts of bull icons and this sculpture at an atelier (workshop) along the road.

After lunch we had a wonderful ride along a bike path to our final destination, Sommieres. We saw this wonderful old foot bridge along the way.

Sommieres is an old walled city and we found a chambres d'hotes (bed and breakfast) at one of the old gates. When we asked the proprietor about the age of the building, he said it was from the Middle ages. The wall around the town had been the protection for the chateau. The siegneur of this chateau had been killed in one of the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in France. Sommieres has one of the most unusual bell towers we have seen.

Today, Saturday, we left Sommieres and headed into rolling country near one of the high points in the area, Peak St-Loup.

It was beautiful country and the road was good and the traffic light. The afternoon's agenda was another gorge, the Gorge de l'Herault. The heat made the climbs tiring, but the gorge was unique.

Once again comparison to Arroyo Seco Gorge came to mind, especially after seeing the above scene. We soon rode out of the gorge, saddle weary and overheated. We stopped at the first hotel we came to. There was no room, but the nice lady called around to find that the next accommodation with room for us was still 7 kilometers away. Well, there was nothing for it but to go. We finished the day in Aniane.


Diana said...

Rice fields and bullfighting...and you're where? Just kidding...we saw a restored coluseum in Nimes used for bullfighting. Seems odd until you learn the history. We're currently in Yosemite to celebrate our fortieth anniversary and plan to hike to the giant sequoias to put a perspective on time...forty years is nothing to a sequoia. How are you holding up physically? Your legs must be like steel pistons!

Dave and Belinda said...

Happy, happy 40th anniversary Diana and Steve! Forty years is nothing to a sequoia but these days that's a great marriage. Congratulations! We are holding up well. The hills are easier now than in Greece, it may be the hills or it could be our conditioning. After 3400 kilometers we are problably in about as good a condition for bicycle touring as we will get.

sandy elliott said...

Catching up on the blog and loving every mile. When you go to Spain,it will be as enchanting as this trip. We had a perfect time touring Catalunya and didn't go further. Being home a week and spent two days in the mountains. Already looking forward to Botswana. There is heat wave in mid-america but we are spared. All is well and a 'new relative' has shown up thanks to Louie. Take care. Sandy