Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 7: Into Provence

The days are starting to run together now. We are on the move, and it's sometimes hard to remember even where we were the night before. The tour is now over half over, and one already senses the end coming - but not until Saturday. 

Meanwhile, we arrived in Provence yesterday, ascending some small mountains and big hills, then experiencing a wonderful 20-mile descent with the wind at our backs. Along the way, we passed sunflower fields that must be approaching harvest time, walnut groves and, increasingly, olive tree groves. I mourned that we again missed the peak of the lavender, it having been already harvested. I still have hopes of seeing at least one field in bloom before we finish the trip at Nice.

We are staying in Vaison-la-Romaine. We arrived yesterday afternoon and depart Wednesday morning. It's quite windy right now (Monday morning), but the skies are a beautiful shade of blue. We saw Mont Ventoux clearly yesterday as we approached Vaison. The winds up there are predicted to be up to 45 mph today, so we won't attempt that legendary ride today. Instead, we will head out for a shorter 32-mile ride around the Dentelles de Montmirail that apparently passes through a number of vineyards.

A number of us had dinner together last night in a restaurant up in the old section of Vaison, which dates back to Roman times - not the restaurant, the city. It was lovely to sit on a terrace overlooking the newer city below, drinking local wines, then moving inside to an interior courtyard for a memorable meal.

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