We were on the road early again next morning after our surprisingly relaxing and tranquil wild camping escapade and aiming for only a short day to the nearby town of Arles, 35 miles east.
The roads to Arles were mainly long, flat ones that led us through marshlands, entering the Cote ‘d Azur. Most days, we’ve gotten up around 8, fannied about and set off somewhere between 9 and 9:30, but today, setting off so early, we arrived in Arles by 10:30! Not only that but the cycle there was so much easier in the cool air than in the 35 degree mid-day heat. After this, we’ve now decided to set off much earlier in future!
When we got to Arles our first job was to find WiFi, which we found at Subway where we spent the next 3 hours stretching a coffee and a sandwich as far as it would go. Neola did her work and I read about half of Max Brook’s World War Z.
After spending much more time than was polite in Subway we headed to our campsite for the night, Camping City which was, more or less, in the middle of the city! Tent pitched, we spent the rest of the daylight hours lounging by the pool and consulting our maps as to our next move.
We decided the previous evening to head to Salon-de-Provence for our next rest day, partly because it looked pretty nice and partly because it is (allegedly) the resting place of Nostradamus and we’d be staying at “Camping Nostradamus”!
It was a fairly easy day, only 30 miles but a constant incline all the way. As we headed east, the landscape changed from the flat plains of central France we’d grown so used to over the last few weeks to the alpine mountains we’d be cycling next.
Shortly before arriving at Nostradamus, we stopped at an Intermarche for supplies and found the greatest treat imaginable: Giant meringue balls covered in chocolate. GR8 4 CYCLING, good job we were nearly there!
With our tolerance for bugs starting to wane, we also bought a citronella candle. Here’s one of the little blighters Neola managed to catch in the act! Little sods.
And then we saw a man jogging in his underpants.
We had another quiet evening on the campsite whilst we caught up with our blog posts, played in the pool and munched anchovies.
The next morning we caught the bus (this was no Ariva bus; a lovely air conditioned coach and only 90 cents) into Salon-de-Provence, which is host to no less than 10 fountains in the town centre. We made it our mission to find and photograph them all. Ready?
Unfortunately some of them weren’t working although fountain 2, Fountaine Moussue, was the best. Originally built in the 16th century, it has slowly grown a mossy organic mass on top of it but still continues to drip and spray water.
Thoroughly exhausted from fountain hunting, we decided there wasn’t much else left to see in Salon, so we had yet another pizza before heading back to the campsite.
That evening, I spent most of the time trying to fix my watch strap which had broken right back in Santander. I eventually succeeded, utilising a dodgy link I removed from Neola’s bike chain earlier that evening. Snazzy.