Tag: Eurovelo 12

Le Grand Tour: Day 41 – Chateauneuf-Du-Pape To Mont茅limar (93km)

Today has seen some of the best cycling of the trip so far. I had, in my mind, relegated the Via Rh么na to a fill-the-gap route that I would have to endure in order to get me from the Mediterranean to the Alps. If today鈥檚 cycling is anything to go by, it鈥檚 no fill-the-gap route. Far from it鈥 There is real geographical drama in the Rh么ne valley and I can only see that increasing. I (almost) feel sorry for the hoards of touring cyclists passing me heading south to that roundabout in S猫te which has about as much geographical drama as your granny鈥檚 pond. I鈥檓 heading to the Alps and the drama can only intensify the further north and east I travel. After the relative disappointment of the Canal du Midi, I have embraced – and am loving – the Via Rh么na after just two days. Mont茅limar? Mmm鈥 Keep reading.

Le Grand Tour: Day 40 – Montagnac To Chateauneuf-du-Pape Via S猫te (77km + Train + 24km)

Day 39 existed. I didn鈥檛 just time-warp myself from day 38 to day 40 but having met up with friends Basil and Liz in P茅zenas yesterday lunchtime after having done my pit-stop tasks (washing, post office, podcast editing鈥) we had a very enjoyable afternoon and early evening of drinking, eating, wandering, drinking, eating and drinking. I took one picture鈥

Le Grand Tour: Day 38 – Pouzols Minervois To Montagnac Via S猫te (134km)

I鈥欌檓 glad to have finished the Canal du Midi section of the Canal des Deux Mers cycle route. Now in P茅zenas – I鈥檒l explain in a moment – the highlight of yesterday was cycling along the excellent voies vertes that brought me inland from S猫te yesterday evening. Cycling at the end of the day is something that doesn鈥檛 often happen (the way I tend to organise my days) but the advantages of cycling at that end of the day are similar to those of early morning cycling; quieter roads, cooler temperatures and the 鈥榞olden hour鈥 sunlight that washes a beautiful soft tint over the landscape. It鈥檚 also worth noting (and remembering) that the winds tend to die down in the evening. Mmm鈥 Perhaps I should do night shifts on the bike.

Le Grand Tour: Day 37 – Alzonne To Pouzols-Minervois (71km)

I鈥檓 on one bar of 3G tonight so getting anything uploaded aside from some good old text is very doubtful. No, more than doubtful; it won鈥檛 happen as I鈥檓 not even going to try. I鈥檒l update this post tomorrow morning with the pictures and the video (which is ready to go!) and for anyone thinking of cycling the Canal du Midi, it really is a video you need to watch鈥

Le Grand Tour: Day 36 – Toulouse To Alzonne (92km)

I鈥檝e seen the Pyrenees for the first time this evening. After so much relatively flat or tame topography over the past five weeks, it鈥檚 good to finally have a little drama added to the landscape. They are only in silhouette, shrouded in haze and only just perceptible from the sky but they are definitely there. (Or my glasses need cleaning.) I鈥檓 in a place called Alzonne by the way, about 90km along the canal from Toulouse. Carcassonne is a further 20km to the south east.

Le Grand Tour: Day 35 – Grisolles To Toulouse (31km)

I鈥檓 still suffering g from the mosquito bites inflicted upon me in Marick鈥檚 basement on Thursday night. I really wish I had got out of the bed and killed each one of the little f*****s. Not only would I have gained great pleasure from doing so, I would not now be scratching my way through the day. Last night on the campsite near Grisolles was particularly uncomfortable. On the positive side of things, the bites are receding, slowly鈥 I need to buy some Autan. I鈥檓 already taking antihistamine tablets but the former was recommended way back in 2010 when I was the victim of a mosquito attack in Italy. I wrote a whole section in 鈥楥rossing Europe鈥︹ about mosquitoes and their bites; I should go back and re-read it. I seem to remember there being three factors that increased your susceptibility; being pregnant, having blood group O and beer. I need to drink more wine鈥

Le Grand Tour: Day 34 – Agen To Grisolles (94km)

I judge my WarmShowers hosts on how I provide for WarmShowers guests when I host back at home. Alas in recent years this has been less frequent. When I lived in that beautiful tourist hotspot that is, err鈥 Reading, I hosted quite regularly in the summer. Since moving back to rural Yorkshire I鈥檝e hosted just three times. In Reading I was half-way between London and Oxford or en route to the West Country. In Yorkshire, despite it being far nicer, I鈥檓 not really on anyone鈥檚 cycle route (although not very far from the Pennine Cycleway – take note!). Anyway, aside from a warm shower, I provide food, drink, Wi-Fi, clothes washing, advice, deep-tissue massage鈥 Well, most of those.