September 7, 2014

Nyons Rest Day

Today was a welcome rest day in Nyons. So that my legs remember what they are meant to do, and stay in bike tour mode, the plan was to spend the morning riding nearby. I wasn't looking for any major accomplishment, and didn't want to work hard today. There will be more than enough of that in the coming week.

Of the three members of my host family whom I have met, two are cyclists ... the third prefers horseback riding. One of the cyclists recommended a beautiful, easy route of about 30K. I have some photos for you.

Leaving Nyons

The route out of Nyons was on a fast, but not too busy, road, at least on this Sunday morning, and usually with a shoulder. The rest of the images are taken from today's beautiful little road. Almost certainly the best road I have ridden so far on this trip. Also, it is so true that I enjoy the landscape here in the south (Nyons is considered the northern edge of Provence) and the weather : hot and dry.

There were olive groves everywhere, and look please at the ground they are growing in.

Fruit groves are also everywhere. It seems mostly fairly small groves of olives, fruit, and sometimes lavender next to each other. These looked like big pears to me. You could spot the yellow feom quite a distance. By the way, a grower told me that the netting I often see over fields of fruit trees is not to protect from birds, but from hail. I haven't seen that recently though, mostly further north.

And so that you get a closer look at the ground, and a sense of what many of my images look like, here is one that is at least recognizable.

OK, here is the ground:

This next is one of those pictures that I hope makes one of my readers smile. It is the single smallest individual of this echinops flower that I have ever seen. Poor thing must have been repeatedly mown before it got a chance to bloom. I see them frequently on the edge of the road, but haven't yet seen large ones away from the mowed strips. Maybe they are considered pest plants and either mowed or weeded.

A general landscape, it looks like this here

Punctuated by what looks like volcano flows. Some of them are large areas, the ones that I have noticed are on steep hillsides or cliffs. Don't know what the actually rock is, or its goeologic history.

And a last image, of the road

After a late lunch, I spent perhaps two enjoyable hours walking around the medieval city. It had more covered passageways and steep steps than I have seen before. I took loads of photos of architectural details, and learned something.

When I don't have a viewfinder on the camera, I don't see anything on the screen, not just the image. I don't see the message telling me that there is no memory card inserted. Stupid, huh? So, no photos at all of old Nyons.

Famed for its olives, which I eat frequently at home, the best tapenade I have ever eaten preceded dinner today.

Tomorrow I hope will also be a gentle day, as I head first to Vaison la Romaine, to see its Roman ruins and then on to Malaucene, at the foot of Mont Ventoux. I am thinking of sending used maps, and some unneeded clothes, home. I might be slightly faster, which is important only because it means it might be slightly easier, with less weight. The clothes are unnecessary because it is clearly warmer and dryer here than in the Pyrenees, where I wore them frequently. This year layers of wool can return to chilly New England.



  1. Keep the 'blind photos' coming, Suze. They're still pretty good! I hope your weather these next few days is better than what's forecast for us in the Cevennes. Wish I were there to ride up Ol' Baldy with you.

  2. I wish you were here too, though in fact my lack of climbing skills would only embarrass me! Hope the weather isn't too bad in the Cevennes; there was a bit of lightning and thunder on my way here this morning, but not close ... and it was to the east, not the west. Tomorrow is meant to be better.

  3. The pictures look great Suze. As it's snowing hard in Calgary right now, I'm even greener with envy as I look at what appears to be lightly travelled roads under warm sunny skies. Like Gerry, I sure wish I could join you in Malaucene and then up Ventoux. I love that area of Provence. Ride safe.

    1. Thanks Rob!

      Must admit, I hate the very thought of snow, so my sympathies are with you.

      It would be great to have you and Gerry here! Though we would either start together at the bottom, then meet up at the top after the two of you rode from up from Malaucene, descended and then again from Bedoin, or put you each on single speeds .... with a v.e.r.y. difficult choice of gear!

      This region suits me too: hot, dry, blue skies, good riding. Nyons was even very sheltered from the endless wind.

  4. The road looks ideal for a gentle pedal. I feel for your photographic problems.

    1. That road was indeed perfect! At least now I have a really good reason why my photos are not nearly as good as yours.....


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