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.
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.