September 14, 2011

Pyrenees Tour: To St. Lizier

The days can be so full, with so many new experiences, that sometimes a day feels like many days. Today I left early enough, in the rain. Happily, the Ortlieb panniers are really waterproof and everything in them stayed bone dry, including this tablet, which does not come with a washable label.

As for me, I was watching the road, and the world, through wet and sometimes foggy glasses, so the camera saw more clearly than I did. Lack of distant views made me switch back to details for today's post, which I will split into two, the ride and the town.

I noticed yesterday that along with the hot sun comes a clear deep blue sky and dry atmosphere, something we never see at home. The stone buildings and green hills stand out beautifully in the light. Today all was diffuse and fuzzy until the sky started to lift about 10:30.

The 35 miles went by quickly, with no difficult parts. I am glad because I don't relish the idea of serious climbing or fast descents in the rain. While riding in the rain, in whatever terrain, it is easy for me to follow my nose, without looking around enough, and end up in the wrong place, so today I stopped at many crossroads to check the map.

By 1:00 I was checked into my hotel, by 2:00 cleaned up and back outside exploring. While riding I had daydreamed of the big towns in Provence with their cafes, museums and livelier scenes. When I first arrived, I thought St. Lizier was going to be another small village that a friend described as "The only thing to do in those little villages is look at their church." I was wrong, and happy for that.


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