Georges and Myrtle

Georges and Myrtle

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sunday 25th May - Sainte Maxime to Canebieres - What do we do now?!

Following a luxurious lie-in, we headed into Sainte Maxime for a typical on the road breakfast but as a treat, added a café stop for hot drinks. Bought some simple fresh provisions and set off out of town for the climb on very familiar roads.

Saving our steepest hills till the end, it all seemed a little bit of a blur; it was a little hard to believe that the plan made on the 1st Gevrey-Chambertain Day, just over a year ago, had finally been fulfilled.

The final tally was 2,152km - we allowed our sweat and tears (of joy) to flow over the patio, tanks just a little empty for now . . .

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Closed Path

I thought that my voyage had come to its end
at the last limit of my power,---that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted
and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me.
And when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.

Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Saturday 24th May - Riviera Retreat to Sainte Maxime - Almost Home!

Shared the start of the day's trail with Janet and Ron for 10km on the Chemin des Pignes in glorious still sunshine. Then, hugs and goodbyes as we headed off alone again to Sainte Maxime. Territory began to get more and more familiar as we passed villages and vineyards that have been our backyard away from home for years.

Just a few tears were hidden under the helmet as we entered Sainte Maxime and headed to the beach for our picnic lunch. We treated ourselves to a beer on the sand before checking in to our final hotel stop. Jane had always wanted to stay over on the coast with the opportunity to indulge with food and wine. We had a great evening out and now, just need to steel ourselves for the 12 mile climb to Canebieres in the morning.

So, this adventure is shortly to close but it seems some more ideas may be brewing . . .

Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd May - Retreating in the Retreat

We had two great days of rest and recouperation with Janet and Ron; Provencal mooching on beaches and in towns, marred only by Janet's insistence that we help her hold the sky in place for what seemed like a ridiculously long time!

Wednesday 21st May - Le Pradet to Secret Riviera Retreat
Turns out that Parker's sister Francoise is standing in the European Elections for the Thunderbirds Party (complete with excellent puppet name)

A shortish day with a return of the sun but, 40km+ into a headwind on our route to catch up with Janet and Ron. Found the Cheshire Hillbillies well and truly ensconced on their site and ready with the warmest of welcomes!

Ron had been out foraging and had found a very rare lemon nik-nak tree which he proceeded to strip bare. 

Janet braved out the faux-pas over her incessant calendar mix-ups and produced a wonderful meal. Ron's beer and wine stocks took a bit of a hit this evening but luckily he was too far gone himself to notice the damage ;-)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tuesday 20th May - Cassis to Le Pradet - Var Matin

Cassis turned out to be as hilly to leave as it was to enter but luckily, was the hardest part of the day’s ride. Before the morning was out, we entered the Var; a special milestone for us as this is the Departement of L’Autre Chez Nous.

Another milestone for the day was the passing of 2,000km travelled since home, before we had lunch near Bandol on the coast.


Our only seeming hurdle remaining for the day was the crossing of Toulon. This turned out to be a bit of a dream with dedicated cycle routes and lanes for most of the way. Exited the city on a voie verte where ‘Goats do Roam’.

News just in on the culinary front, the Snack Monitor has been awarded ‘3 Stockpots’ by Monsieur Pamplemouse.
Monday 19th May - Martigues to Cassis - French Connection 2014
•    Unconscious Uncoupling!
•    Popeye Doyle where were you when we needed you?


Things suddenly began to get steeper!

Pretty tough ride to Marseille, with some wind and rain. We had a ‘bit of a moment’ on a downhill stretch through the Marseille outskirts when, much like one of those Pink Panther cartoon sequences, Myrtle’s trailer uncoupled and careered across the opposite carriageway in a seeming overtaking motion! To our great good fortune, despite the otherwise busy road, no cars were present in either direction as it happened! A split-pin had failed but Bicycle Repairman managed to sort a fix which still holds.

If you ever wake up one morning thinking “today, I really must cycle through Marseille”, take our advice and go back to bed!!! Think of the worst city ride you can imagine and then, make it a whole lot worse.

The really big hills came after the delights of Marseille and gave us our latest day finish so far. Made it to our planned destination of Cassis where, it was all we could do to pitch the tent and fall into bed!
Sunday 18th May - St Mitre to Martigues - Ping!

Today was to be our passage through Marseille however, Georges threw another spoke relatively early in the morning and, as it was Sunday, no bike shops would be available for 24hrs. As we’d caught it early, we decided to stay the night in Martigues which meant a cheap hotel stop in these parts.

Not too down heartened, we took advantage of the sunshine, the attractive port, the French Rowing Championships and an excellent lunch on a quai.

Caught up with the Archers Omnibus online as we dozed off with wifi.