I’m currently outside the office d’tourisme in Bourg d’Oisans, at the foot of the legendary, alp d’huez, nicking their wi-fi and checking up on things – like ya do.
It’s too sunny and my battery too low and a full load of excuses to tell, but yesterday’s ride was one ofo the most exhilarating of the trip – the beginning of the day was rainy, and I had taken a hotel room – first of the bicycling tour, since it was so rainy the night before and there wasn’t a campsite in sight, in the idea of ditching in the dark, in the rain wasn’t very appealing – and I needed a recharge of spirits, so I took the night and rolled around in my underwear watching movies dubbed in French – Batman and Robin, Memories of a Geisha and, surprising, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance – one of my all time favorite movies.
Yesterday, at around 21:00, I decided to just stay where I was. I scoped the town and found a McDUH and a Decathlon. One can get my on the intarweb, the other… a new wheel? The old one was on its last legs – imaging pedaling, but not having the wheel engage for about one full pedal.
Yesterday, I scanned around Arles – I read they have a little tour of the places Van Gogh painted – there’s a reprint of the painting, right next to where he might have stood.
This was sort of fun, but there really were only two places that actually still exist that you can see – the rest of the spots are seriously, in front of a tree, which hides an intersection, on the other side of a big store full of dumb stuff no one wants – or, there’s one of the river and the painting is a bridge, but the bridge is long gone (same with his house)
Arles has sort of an identity crisis – it tries to be the van Gogh thing, it tries to be medieval, it tries to be Roman, AND it tries to be contemporary.
Last night, I slept in a wooded area, after riding around 200km from around Lannemezan. That night, I spent in a cemetery, right next to a crypt and a giant church, with even giant..er bells gonging every 25 minutes. That day was around 100km, but included 2 mountain passes.
Don’t have much internet time, but they were extremely steep and it was extremely warm. In a nutshell. Taking a break today and have two more HUGE passes tomorrow and then I’m out of the Pyrenees. Sad.