Day 17 - Orange to St Laurent du Pape
The Mistral was still in full swing last night when I went to bed, so it took me a while to get to sleep. It was doing its best to get me and my tent airborne, but I had the tent well pegged down.
In the morning it seemed to have died down a bit, so I set off around 07:45. I stopped in the next town after Orange for breakfast. I had 2 PACs and a C washed down with a coffee.
I was following the Via Rhôna cycle route. It was mostly on roads to start with before settling down to following the river.
The wind was back with a vengeance, making it slow going again, but I kept plodding along.
There were a huge number of bridges to cross, which is always a good thing, but the massive cross wind made some of them a bit scary - especially the suspension bridges that hummed with the wind. I had visions of those bridges that collapsed when the wind caused them to vibrate at their resonant frequency!
There was one very narrow bridge that crossed the river in two spans. It said to push bikes over, but I ignored that and just rode over the first section. At speed 😋 The trouble was there was an awful lot of movement both lateral and vertical and it felt like I was going to be catapulted over the side! So I got off and pushed like I was supposed to.
There was also a lot of hydro electric stuff going on which I remembered from last time. I also went passed a nuke. I guessed it was as there were a bunch of cooling towers. That was all pretty interesting.
There wasn't much in the way of refreshment stops on the route - in fact I didn't see any, so I came off in a small town to get my cheese, ham and salad baguette and éclair chocolat fix.
I was a bit disappointed with my progress - all down to the wind of course. I had hoped to get as far as Valance, but I soon realised that wasn't going to happen, so I selected a campsite and made my where there.
And very nice it is too! Probably the nicest I've stayed at so far. It has a decent sized pool that I've been in and a nice restaurant that I'm currently stuffing my face in. The football is on and as most people here are Dutch, there was a big cheer when Sweden scored against Germany!
I'm toying with the idea of having a day off tomorrow - a good chance to do some washing and even out my tan! And of course watch the football! I know I'll feel like I'm slacking if I do though, so I'll see how I feel in the morning.