91km Cendras – St Gineys en Coiron
Our pick of camping spots do tend to be on the rough side. The ground we picked this time in a field full of overgrown grass was a good hiding spot but a little bumpy, making for a night of rolling to one side or the other but never the most comfortable part of the mattress. Ah well, a coffee in the morning solves all things. Just as we got most things packed up it started to spit rain a little. Considering yesterdays hot weather, it was a welcome relief. As we entered the Ardeche the quiet, very rural countryside gave way to campgrounds and towns packed with tourists. What must this area be like in the summer? One of the obvious tourist hot spots was a bar with an English-pub style sign and the name Chelsea but a logo with the cartoon characters Tin-Tin and Snowy and an advertisement for German beer. A little confused, but it probably stops a wide range of tourists! With the increasingly sunny afternoon, we were tempted to stop as we passed a few French tourist enjoying themselves in a river-fed swimming hole. For what ever reason we pushed on and soon regretted it. A swim would have been so refreshing! We kept our eyes out for another good place to take a dip and thought we might have found one when we saw four people having a picnic by the banks. We went down to take a look and found the river bed was dry but our luck was still in since the people we saw turned out to be wine growers out for a Sunday drive. It was hard work sampling their wares but someone had to do it! Finally, after a long slog up a mountain, we came to the best part of our day, the one we’d been pedalling all day to get to. The lovely home of Bert and Patricia in the Ardeche mountains. They must have read our minds because we had Japanese food for dinner, something we’ve been craving lately, and then enjoyed getting to know Sarah and Ezra, two fellow WWOOFers, for the rest of the evening. A great start to what will be a fun three weeks.