This Roman wall led into the medieval Vaison-la-Romaine

So.    We’ve finished our first day of real biking!   It was a beauty of a day!   Not a cloud in the sky!   We said goodbye to our B and B hosts after breakfast.   Two kisses for Dave.  Three for Jojo.   It seems that the D didn’t have the proper protocol!   😀

These beautiful old trees are everywhere
Dave took this picture as we headed off – while biking along. I wouldn’t recommend that . . 😏

Then, we met at the old Roman bridge and headed off through town.   9:30!    A pretty good start for our crew!    Tom, headed the opposite way out of the hotel – which he thought was an easier way through town . . .    It was a beautiful morning with temps in the 60’s.    Light jackets on.    We rode together through town and out into the countryside.   Amazing scenery.  Easy roads for cycling. Kept looking for Tom – but just figured he’d be somewhere along our route having coffee!    😀.   We don’t worry much about Tom.  He’s pretty self sufficient!     So we stopped for coffee at mile 20 or so.   At this point, Colette and Laurie (who has picked up this awful head cold) were planning to head right to Pernes-la-Fountain – the direct route.  35 miles.   The rest of us were taking the extra loops up into the Dentelles range for some wonderful views . ..

Amazing scenery all along the way!

Colette was calling Tom – and he magically appeared.   He was actually behind us.  I believe this is the first time ever that we have hit the coffee stop ahead of Tom!   😏.   He says he was taking pictures and smelling the roses!   😀.     Anyway – coffee was great and we were soon on our way . .  Tom and John went on ahead.  Cyndy, Dave, and I took a little longer climbing the first hill.    Does that surprise you all?   😀.    It was rather long and ranged from a five percent gradient to eight and nine.  Jojo thought there was a lot of nine percent!   That’s because I’m not the most accomplished rider up the hills . .    😏.

Here I am at the summit of the BIG one! Happy to be there . . .

It was also full sun and we were getting pretty hot!    So – we are riding with this great computer program called “ride with GPS.”    We get turn by turn directions from this voice.    I call her Missy!    I actually talk to her when I’m getting annoyed.  It’s pretty funny . .    It helps you feel like you’ll be fine if you get lost because there’s a noise that occurs if you go the wrong direction.

We passes these folks picking grapes . . They waved at us . . . Laborious work . . Think of them next time you have a nice glass of wine . .picking the grapes by hand!

This ride was absolutely beautiful!    Hillsides covered with vineyards.   Olive orchards dotting the landscape as well . . .    Just amazing scenery.   That was helpful in terms of taking your mind off how tiring it all was . . .  😀.     Also, you can watch the elevation on this program  (downloaded on our phones and attached to our handlebars)  so it’s helpful just knowing that you’re close to the summit . .     Not so helpful if you have miles left to reach the top . . .  😖

Cyndy and Jo – up the biggest hill and heading down for a welcome respite before we go up again .
. 😳

The extra loops took us back to our coffee town.    Dave, Cyndy, and I decided  to have lunch here . .   Good idea!   Gave us a break from riding and a chance to enjoy a nice cold coke!   I never drink coke but it sure tastes good on a long ride.   The sugar is helpful as well . . .   After lunch, we had probably 20 miles to go to reach Pernes.    Fortunately there were no big claims left . .  But we didn’t get there until 4:30 or so     That’s a long day on the bikes!

55 miles   3200 feet of elevation gain    We don’t think we have ridden this far in a couple of years . .    A very large beer was in order!   😀

These beers are large and cold . But not all that tasty . . Jojo shared much of hers . .

Tomorrow we’ll take it easy on ourselves . .

I must tell you about our evening    Our hotel is way out of town .   Not ideal . .   Last night we had dinner (part of our Randonnee package)   Too far for our tired legs to walk . .  So we took a van taxi – had to wait half an hour for him to arrive.    Eight o’clock is late to start a very long dinner . . Oh well     We arrived at this very neat place and were offered an aperatif outside on this long table    Fine.   White wine with ice and a bit of lemon   😙     Inside we went for dinner   First course was wonderful   A slow cooked egg served on diced mushrooms with carrot mousse    Amazingly good!   Main meals were duck or sea bass   Both very good.    Wine was plentiful – this place has their own winery . .  😀     Dessert was lemon mouse served over a yummy sugar cookie with raspberry sorbet!   Meanwhile, it’s after 10:00 and our taxi has been waiting for us since 9:40 and we’re all dead tired . . .  two taxis had been ordered . .

Finally, we left the restaurant – went out to find one taxi   Meant for four passengers.   It would be crowded in the back seat with four passengers   😀     So we certainly did not want to wait for another taxi and the driver didn’t mind if we all piled in.    Tom and Colette in the front seat!   Laurie, John, Cyndy, Dave, and I in the back seat   Hysterical!   We were laughing like crazy – as was the driver!   😀     Not cheap . . Coast us $30 euros for that ride!   Wow

alright  . . .its taken forever to get pictures in this blog!    Internet is 😖 here!    Who knows what today will bring    It’s all an adventure . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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