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Rain to the end

We left Apt and headed across the Luberon toward Lourmarin and onto Cadenet. While trying to find our way out of Cadenet on a small network of roads, we ran out of road, but eventually did make it back out onto actual tarmac.

We got into Rians just as a storm was about to catch us, and found a nice hotel with a very good restaurant. We explored the town and its cathedral in between showers. The next day, we found a lovely flat road, the only flat road we encountered in Provence. We average 100 feet of climbing per mile for most of the trip, so a flat road was certainly a novelty. We even saw another cyclist motor-pacing down this road. It turned out to be a former railroad.

The rains came, and while we still enjoyed the ride, we didn't take the camera out much. We got back into the mode of not booking ahead and on one ocassion rode 30 miles through numerous towns to finally find lodging! The next day we booked ahead.

Here is Pamela in a bus shelter where we stopped to read the map without getting it soaked. We were plesantly surprised to find bike racks.

. The rains were quite heavy at this point and a car rally forced us off the small roads and onto busy ones. We ended up going through the center of Grasse on our way to Vence. Fortunately we realized before leaving Grasse that our hotel was actually in St. Paul de Vence, rather than Vence, so we headed in the right direction.

When we got there, we found it well off the beaten path, and with no restaurant. We ended up taking a taxi into Vence for a lovely meal. The next morning we awoke to news of major floods and washed out roads. This was the road out of our hotel.

We headed straight for Nice, although we had many detours due to flooded roads. We suffered our only puncture 2 miles from the end! We checked into the novotel across from the airport, dissassembled the bike, and had several enjoyable meals, and a lovely night's sleep. Despite being right across from the airport it was quiet - nice sound insulated windows!

Despite all the rain, we did have a lovely time. Given our difficultly finding lodging at times, I would recommend September, rather than October. And I'd also recommend low gears. While we didn't have long climbs, we had plenty of them and probably climbed as much on this trip as we did in the alps. The airport in Nice is quite easy to ride a bike in and out of, but left luggage was very pricey. Next time we'd go for the hotel across the way.

 

The End