Day 112, 8832 km
A burger with extra everything…
That I think is a good start to sum up the last 10ish days out here on the roads of Europe. Emotions has reached up and downs, the altitude and scenery likewise. That is what come to me very first now when I sit yet again on a Mcdonalds free wifi service and doing the weekly update. Linda and I had a superweek and to say good bye sucked really bad. The empty feeling led to a state of mind to start over again with everything. But not all was bad, I had clean clothes! Wow! Good feeling to start with.
The coast was still close to hand so I planned to continue that way from Pisa to Nice through Genoa. I reached the middle checkpoint after 2 days and it was here I was sick when I was here last. Genoa then was for me a dirty harbour city and I did not had high expectations this time. But coming in from east changed my view completely; it was now clean, nice and felt friendly. How strange how a mental picture can change just like that? Well, in the positive way for me this time. One mission here to do: Pick up a new headtorch. The one I got from my sister did not like water as much as I do so it got replaced by a blue one that likes the blue gold as much as I:) The night I spent on an empty field with a caravanlady as a neighbour. Now just enjoy the last coastly days towards Monaco and Nice. The freecamping along the french riviera was rather tricky but after 2 hours of searching I found myself on a plateu of olive trees. Top of
that if I bend at least in 4 strange angles I could see the ocean:) Not bad for free, haha. The Riviera is gorgeus with its beaches, steep mountainsides, restaurants, cafe´s and smells. I was still happy for my choice of campsite well upon next morning when I met 2 bike touring friends from Poland, Rafael and Eva. We chatted a bit and became friends during the day. We set meeting in Monte Carlo later on for a fun day. The rain was pouring down this day but stopped as good when I saw the casino in Monte Carlo. I had time to have a quick looksy before Rafael and Eva came, all smiling:) I have been here before on my interrail tour 2007 but was then never insiden the casino, which our little 3 person group did now. Exceptional place that feels just like a….casino:) Vegas has its stamp on it and is unique, but this was yet another feeling. Eva and Rafael bet 5 euros (!) on a machine and actually ended up with a win of 4 euros. That equals to ONE ice cream, not two.
After the casino we hit the streets on the way down to the harbour. Luxury cars everywhere (of course) and boats in a class of their own, yet not enough with helicopterlanding space in our point oif view:) One can wonder how happy these people are comparable to their fortune? Let’s hope they are:) After this the gang highfived and took different directions again.
In Nice I prepared with full speed to go up the mountains again and the nationalpark of Verdon, which has the biggest canyon in Europe! Unbelievable views which I rank as the best ones on my little cycletrip so far, just look at the gallery below. BUT NOT YET! Now lets check of a bicycle classic: Mt Ventoux and its 1912 metres. The altitude isn’t superscary but the wind last 6 km with a elevation of 7 degrees really differs out the weaks (Ventoux means windy and the record of 88 metres/second says it all that thet close off the road from time to time). A brittish cyclist named Tom Simpson died of exhaustion here in the 60s. For his memory their is a stone close to the summit on the southern side.
My climb starts in the village of Sault, is 26 km and starts at 750 metres above sea level. The first 20 km has an elevation of 4.5 degrees. I felt strong and took first break at 1300 metres. Here something funny happened:) I got a pack of butter (!) from a campingwife. This present soon made it to a plan in my head. I melted it, mixed in oatmeal, chocolatemix, jam and drymilkpowder. That, my friends, is a sugarbomd looked like this:
Well lets climb further. I reached the last 6 km which ment 7 degrees of pure madness. You can see the summit and it feels much mor further than 6 km. I passed an english who was exhausted and walked his bike, he was alright though. Then in the most hard part a touring friend came down in opposite direction. A frensh girl I did not pick up the name because of the wind. She was super excited and happy which all transferred to me aswell! Great job and thank you frensh girl:) After that I almost got blown of the road (on the opposite side!) because of the wind! I hit the breaks just seconds before falling of the road. Strong stuff…The wind was constant but I made it! At the top a roadworker on motorcycle gave me a hug and said: LEGEND! So 4 hours work to reach a summit of a temperature of 5 degrees and stormy winds makes you want to enjoy the view effectively and then go down:) The panorama was stunning of course, forever glued in my head. The ride down to village Malaucéne wasn’t as fun as the regular downrides, due to the cold. But 78.8 km/h was good though, I really felt it in my jawbones and how much snot that flew out is yet today a mystery:)
So a couple of huge days that I felt in my body the day after. The cold and the physical exhaustion made me not as bendable as a candy gummybear:D. On the route plan it says restday so that is exactly what I did too, slow morning and cycle to closest internet place to just relax. Then I took of from the certain route to set course for my grapepicking work. This is present time and I will reach Lyon at monday night. A cycle host (from warmshowers.org) is taking care of me for 2 nights so I can pick up some work stuff plus enjoy the beautiful city. Here is also Ikea…
I have yet some another days before the job starts, which I will spend in 2 nationalparks within reach. I will keep myself busy, that’s for sure:)
So, sad after Lindas homegoing turned to happiness with the spectaculur cycling days. The feeling of Beeing In It came from time to time and I love it.
The temperature of 30 degrees on the coast, bareable 20 in the parks and 5 on the summit is quite different. I now sleep in Merinowhool skin wear and it feels great with perfect temperature both night and day!
Coast with ocean became mountains greener than ever which themself became very small from the view of the summit of Mt Ventoux. Now back to forest and many big grapeharvesting areas. Add 2 days and there’s bigcitylife in Lyon! All this in around 2 weeks, who says cycling is slow?!
Awesome, You guys have been very good so far with contrubuting donations to swedish cancer foundation and seashepherd. I have sent postcards all different directions. Now that the website works as it should I have decided to start with the fee function of the blog. It means that you donate U.S $4 and with that access the website. The money is split between the two projects but if you want it otherway just let me know:) The mainpage with my current positon, “sponsors”, “contact”,”about airbourne”, “guestbook” will always be free! I am doing this because I believe a lot of people together can make a big difference if they compared to their own small contribution. Do you disagree but want to follow the blog anyway? Just come with a suggestion and we’ll fix it! Nothing is impossible, some stuff just takes longer time. The start date of this will be october 1st.
I leave this post with the gallery below and hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!