Nothing crazy today . .     😜

Lots of ancient bridges over here!
Along these roads – you ride over ancient, narrow bridges, over cobblestones, in amongst traffic, around many roundabouts!  Got to be on your toes! 😀

We were in need of a bit of a rest day . .  Imagine that!?   😀.    Tomorrow, we are going to ride over to the base of Mt. Ventoux – at Bedouin.     For those who have no idea of the significance of Mt. Ventoux, it is one of the classic climbs of the Tour de France.     It’s a 12 mile ride from here to the base of the mountain, 12 miles up, 12 miles back down and then 12 miles back to the hotel.  Lots and lots of elevation gain.    Tom wants to take on the challenge.  John and Dave – maybe.    The girls?    Nada!   😀.     We’re going to ride to Bedouin and perhaps climb up a bit . .   Just to see what it’s like . .  Exploring the town is always a good option!

Chateaneuf-du-Pape vineyards. Beautiful!

So today, we decided to ride over to Chateanuef-du-Pape and back.    Only 34 miles and much of it flat!    We meandered a bit this morning and then headed off around 10:00.   Still pretty chilly . . But it certainly warmed up  . . To 85 degrees and HOT!    Laurie stayed behind, deciding to explore this town a bit and see what we might find for dinner options . .

Amazing rocks in this soil! Hard to believe anything can grow here! Guess that’s part of the secret . .
Here’s the town set off by vineyards. We’re almost there! 😀

As you probably all know, Chateaneuf-du-Pape is a dark red wine, full of tannins and flavor.    Dave and I were here with Cyndy and Barbara in 2004 on a pannier bike ride.  No vehicle backup.     I remember demanding to bike into this town and no one else wanted to because it was out of the way and it was the end of a long day and we were all tired.   They acquiesced.   We went into this one tasting cave and felt like we needed to buy something as the tastings here are all free!   😀.   So we bought the cheapest bottle of Chateaneuf-du-Pape they had in this cave.  $80 the thing cost!   😜.   We have yet to drink it because no event seems worthy . .   Pretty funny.   This wine ages well so I’m sure it must be worth hundreds now!   😀

Here’s one cave! Want to taste? It’s free! Randonnee suggests not tasting while biking . . 😜

Anyway, we stopped for a coffee here   Explored the town a bit and then headed back over the incredibly bumpy roads we had experienced on the way over . .  The vineyards for this fancy wine are pretty interesting.   Clusters of dark purplish grapes hanging off these vines.   The soil is all a bunch of rocks!   These rocks go three to four feet deep – forcing the vines to go very deep looking for water.   Pretty amazing . . .  The grapes also benefit from the mistral winds and the incredibly dry soil.

Field upon field of spent sunflowers 🌻

Sunflowers are grown here as well.  Fields and fields of them, with the flowers now dead and hanging their heads toward the ground.    Must have been spectacular when they were all in bloom!    They harvest these flowers to make sunflower oil . . .

Heading back. Mt Ventoux beacons . .

So we headed back to Pernes, thinking we’d have lunch in town before heading back to our hotel.  No food here!   By now it’s well after 2:00 and we are getting  hungry and thirsty.    Breakfast doesn’t last all that long when you’re expending energy climbing hills . .   😙.     Laurie joined us in Monteux, a town five miles or so from the hotel.  Nothing open!   All the restaurants here close at 2:00 – so if you haven’t had lunch before two, you are just plain out of luck!   So – we were getting a bit cranky  .  .  😳.     What to do?    Laurie and John went to the grocery store, bought food and enjoyed it with some white wine out on their patio.   (This was before they learned that picnics at this hotel are frowned upon . .).   The folks at the bar refused to give them ice because the wine was not their wine.  😖    The rest of us rode around Pernes searching and searching .. .  We finally found a bar – a lively place with some lively gentlemen betting on the horse races and cheering for their horses.

Waiting for Laurie and John . .
Also waiting . . .

They were not open for anything but beer. .  But said they could make us sandwiches – jambon e fromage. That was it.  Take it or leave it!    😀.     Those sandwiches tasted darn good at 3:00.       Dinner is ???

Massaging the tired feet . . Could use another beer to go with this activity. 😋

So we discovered a great barbecue place  . .about a two mile walk from here   Since we spent sixty euros for taxis last night  😖  we were all up for walking!   Not cheap – just  reasonable . . .  😀    Dinner was wonderful!  We were seated inside  . . But it was really outside under the clear sky.   Trees all around!   Probably in the 70’s   Wine by the pitcher . .  Three pitchers did it for us .  6 euros each    😀     We had steak and ribs and lots of yummy veggies, salad, and delicious French fries     Very reasonable    And we were back by 9:00    Perfect!



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