January 1, 2011

June 1| Aigues-Mortes to Sète

Canal passing through salt water lake
This was a mixed bag of riding: some quiet roads, sometimes along the Mediterranean, some stretches of busy roads. Most of the time, the busy roads didn’t feel unsafe, just too busy to be fun riding. I think we could have followed the Canal du Rhone and avoided some traffic, but we didn’t understand that from the map. For some distance the canal goes through one of the étangs, a totally new concept to me.

Bridge: one lane for cars, one for bikes
We got a big kick out of the bridge in the photo. Originally a 2-lane auto bridge, one entire lane is now designated for bike traffic, with a striped line down the middle delineating beach-bound from inland-bound bike traffic. Cars, on the other hand, have only one lane, and must wait for a traffic light to give them the right of way. That is what I call a  cycle-friendly culture!

Mediterranean near Sete
We stopped to sit on the beach for a bit shortly after crossing the bridge. The beach was rocky, with a few trees, and gorgeous. There was virtually no one there.

By the time we got to Sète we were both tired, and again put off by the bumper to bumper car traffic and crowded sidewalks. We rode on out of town and stopped at the Hotel Le Venise, located barely west of Sète, immediately on the Mediterranean. The room was affordable, with a terrace overlooking the sea. Basic, clean, with its own bathroom and perfect for us that night, we particularly enjoyed the typical French breakfast of croissants and coffee that we ate overlooking the Mediterranean. With no air conditioning, we wanted the windows open and the only drawback was the noisy party of young people  on the beach all night that kept me awake. Oh well, I’m old.

46 miles. Route: D979 / D62 / D255 / D59 / D62 / D986 / D185 / D116 / D60 / D2

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