90km Estelle to Cendras
If a day starts with a long downhill run, it can’t be bad. That’s our theory anyway so today was going to be an excellent one as soon as we hopped on our bikes and cruised down the valley. We were sad to leave our friends Yves & Ingrid (it will probably be several years before we see them again) but at the same time excited to be on our way to see more friends, Bert & Patricia, at their home in the beautiful Ardeche region of France. We’d been there last in November and promised to come back. Over 8,000km later we have now nearly completed our round trip. A quick stop in Vigan for groceries (no, we never seem to stop eating on this trip), a more or less flat cruise into Ganges and then the real work began: lots of little climbs through a twisty mountain road. It was turning out to be a very hot day so we took lots of breaks, first for cold drinks at a cafe and then we just sat in the shade under a tree for about an hour. We have to learn to do this more as summer brings warmer weather. In fact, we learned our bikes make pretty comfortable props for afternoon dozing. Andrew laid down with his feet up on the front wheel and fell asleep, while Friedel sat down and leaned her head against the back panniers and also was soon in dream land. This probably looked pretty funny to the car drivers going past and we would have taken a picture but that’s kind of hard to do when you’re asleep. Late in the evening we rolled into the city of Ales. Our map says there should be a campground here but we didn’t see any signs so we headed for another one a few kilometers away. That one also turned out to be closed so a field became our home for the night. The freedom of cycling, you can stop wherever you want.