Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rain in provence?

Yesterday marked the first time I've seen rain, and apparently I should not get used to it. It usually only rains for the festival in Cannes a bit and then pretty much not again until later in the fall. Either way, it was pretty insignificant rain during the day by Canadian standards to I soldiered on. Local market in the morning for some fresh produce for the week and a few treats: goat's cheese, smoked deer (or "bambi" as explained the vendor) and wild boar sausage. Both are quite delicious. Then a long lunch and off for some solo explorations of the mountains. I was told of a long climbing route so gave it a go, up into Gourdon and then continue up to Cassols. Through the clouds, with wild views down and out to the Med all the way up. Eventually Gourdon appeared, perched on a cliff as any good old medival town should be. Good luck to any invaders, and I wipped my eyes to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. A tour of older folks arrived at the same time at then also did a double take at the weirdo riding up the mountain. I continued on to the top of the col (1120m) and then continue on through the rocky landscape up higher (not many trees here, and only stunted pine trees at that) to the observatory on top of the mountain. 25km, 1:15 of straight climbing. One of the most breath-taking rides of my life certainly. Threw on the cape and descended back through the twisty mountain roads. Note, when climbing alpine roads, always bring extra clothes for the way down - I could see my breath at the top. Wish I had a camera. Today the sun and heat is back, and I'm ready for the race tomorrow. Early though. Gotta ride to Cannes at 5:30 tomrrow morning for our ride to the race as the race is an early one. Finish my coffee with the Giro and we'll be ready to put the hammer down tomorrow. Cheers

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