cyclist stops and chats to us as we work. Not liking to be without a spare tyre we ask about cycle shops in the area and are pleased to be informed there is one in Pezénas, which we intend to travel through tomorrow.
All done, we say au revoir to our cyclist friend and set off. We make a brief stop at St Guilhem le Desert. This was a charming medieval village with two Michelin stars when we visited 13 years ago. Today, like many hilltop villages in Provence, it has been strangled by tourism. There is now a park and ride on the Aniane Road and a shuttle bus to St G le D delivering large numbers of tourists for whom all the regular tat is on sale. Pity, but at least we were lucky enough to have seen the village in solitude on our previous visit.
The gorge ends at the Pont du Diable. The old bridge, which we have cycled over, is now pedestrian only, but it has been quite well done. We stop at “the café” beyond the bridge for cold drinks (We were last here when we cycled the Manche to Med). The café patron is hard to describe, but eccentric would be the polite version. From the café it is downhill all the way to Aniane. We note that this is fine now but in the morning we will be retracing our route back along this road to the bridge.
The hotel is familiar (this is now our third visit) and we are pleased to see that Balthazar the hotel dog is still lying across the top step of the hotel entrance in the way of everyone coming and going. We are invited to bring the trike in via the disabled entrance and park it in a corner under the stairs. We have to adjust the rear light (which sticks up from the rear seat) and then it just fits.
S&W and as we have a ground floor room John rigs up a washing line in some trees discreetly out of site in a corner of the hotel grounds. Then it’s swimming pool time again. Yippee, three in a row – good job Sheila remembered to put swimming togs on the packing list. We round the day off with a good meal in the hotel.
Not too many, but some thing come up so often in the course of our cycle touring that it is not worth writing them out in full each time:
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