Day 4: On the road to the beach

We woke to rain and slightly rumbly thunder. Such a change from yesterday. 
This  morning we went to the car via the pharmacy! Steve is a little sick with head cold and bad cough. Hope it fixes before Greece and certainly hope I don’t get it. 

We headed towards Pont de Gard and visited the Roman aqueduct. How clever were those Romans? It’s so well built – up close you can see the effort and labour that went into it. Surprisingly large number of Australians around the site. Maybe all heading to the Lifesaving titles? Or just on tour. 

Onwards towards Nimes and our sense of direction deserted us. We parked in a car park thinking we kind of knew where we were and didn’t have a map. I think we walked all the streets (the unsavoury ones) before we found the Roman arena. Again impressive building. What are the Romans building now?

We also got lost going back to the car but in the much nicer part of Nimes and saw many older gentlemen playing boules,  or pétanque as the French call it. I suggested Steve should  start a pétanque club for retired gentlemen back in Australia. He just gave me “that look”. However I think it’s a great idea for retired men. Gives them a reason to get  together, not get injured, have a chat and end with a drink. What’s not to like? (At least wait until I am retired – Steve!)

Then it was on to La Grande Motte. This is the Surfers Paradise of Montpellier. Sits on the Mediterranean, with lots of sea front, no waves to worry about and lots of
restaurants and shops selling plastic sandals, beach hats and towels. We checked in and have a nice, somewhat smallish room looking towards the water. A friend from Brisbane came knocking and we now have drinks and dinner organised. 

I had a big walk along the sea front and up through some ugly apartments looking for a little supermarket so I could buy Steve a few food supplies for his race tomorrow. Such a long walk. Tomorrow I’m getting a hotel bike – but Steve is not!

We went for dinner with some if the other Sunshine Coast people at the yacht club next door to the Hotel Azur. It was pretty good. No foam in sight except on the rocks outside the club. During the night we had the most amazing storm. Thunder, lightening and  pouring rain. Hope it’s all gone by tomorrow. Had to shuffle back to the hotel in the last of the rain.

I’ll be heading to the beach later than Steve. I might get to have a swim!

Photos to follow

St Remy

Day Trip from St Remy

We left the delightful Gordes and drove through the fruity counryyside and reached L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue around noon. It was in full swing with the most market stalls I have seen at any market for a long time. 
It made it so colourful and full of life, but also made it hard to appreciate this pretty town. It has waterways running through it with little bridges crossing over. There is a waterwheel and grassy slopes to lie on and many restaurants and cafes. 

We wandered through the markets and I resisted buying things. I don’t need more things! My suitcase is heavy enough – though leaving Brisbane it was only 13.5kg. So I did sneak some gorgeous smelling soaps and L’Occitane shampoo and conditioner.

We wandered the backstreets and poked around a little, then didn’t want to squash ourselves into one of the many restaurants so opted for a picnic. Bought some salad and rolls from the markets and sat on the grassy slope by the little stream and listened to a chanteuse entertaining the crowds with delightful French songs.

Finally made a move and arrived into Avignon and parked in a bus parking area just inside the gates!
Had to do the little jig of Sur La Pont Avignon……. you know how the tune goes. Looking out from the bridge we saw hundreds of people along the banks of the river watching the locals race on their jet skis. It was an organised carnival and had the locals cheering loudly.

We left them to it and made our way up through the narrow streets to the piazza (Italian term) (Place – French Term!) outside the Palace of the Popes. I was in Avignon a few years ago with my sister Catherine. We stayed in the most amazing little B&B opposite the Palace with the eccentric lady of the house. Lots of fun memories. So I reacquainted myself with the town whilst Steve went into the Palace. We had hoped to contact our friends Alan and Jan from Sydney as they are staying in Avignon. But no luck. I hoped we would just run into them as we sat in one of the many outdoor cafe for a while soaking up the atmosphere.

We got back to our hotel in St Remy round 5 and our friends rang! No luck getting together this time I’m afraid. We spent some time writing and reading then headed off for another lovely French dinner. No foam for me this time. I had duck, Steve had pork and we both turned our noses up at the bull on offer!

And so to bed.