Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Day 117 - Agay - South-East France

Channel to Med is quite a popular cycling challenge, a bit like Lands End to John O'Groats. I completed it yesterday, in a round about sort of way, arriving in St Raphael and seeing the sea for the first time since Portugal, about two months ago. I like the sea - I like its size, its colour, its power. I like its breeze too. It's hot here. People are on holiday - the beaches are full and the bars and restaurants are buzzing with life. It feels a bit strange seeing people on holiday, thinking that they chose this place carefully for their two weeks off and it's just another nice place for me to stop off, relax a little, then move on.

St Raphael was a bit too busy for me, plus there were no obvious campsites, so I carried on to here - Agay - a small town in a neat little bay. I'm camped on the beach, literally, in a nice campsite overlooking the whole bay. It's an amazing spot, I can hardly bring myself to leave. Tonight will be my second night here. It'd be silly to leave on a Sunday, right?

I arrived here via the Verdon gorge, which I have to mention because it was magnificent. I cycled the Southern side - the Corniche Sublime they call it - from the lake (where I camped) all the way along, rising up to around 1100 metres or so. Some serious climbing, not dissimilar to the Pyrenees experience, but well worth it. There were quite a few touristy types around and not one - not even those with expensive road bikes strapped to the back of their grotesque mobile homes - gave me a toot or wave of encouragement as I slogged my way up the 10% gradients. Miserable bastards.

I had hoped to put some photos up of the gorge and this coast but I'm currently standing at a counter in a shop, paying about 8 euros an hour for this slow internet connection, and I don't feel like getting my camera and cables and all that crap out, so you'll have to wait, or use Google in the meantime.

I can also see the sea, the beach and the nice bar on the beach through the window, so I'm off.


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