Day 5 – Familiarity

Last night, my tent was baptized by a thunderstorm that lasted one hour or so. We were both OK.After a lazy evening, I had a lazy morning. I had time to go to the beach. I could have said I swam but In reality, I only quickly got in and out of the water. Well, it’s progress. It was refreshing. I packed without rushing because I only needed to get to Montpellier, which is not far. The only stop on the way was in Sète.

Sète, according to Paul Valéry, is the Venice of Languedoc. I will paraphrase the words of the classic writer: the reports of Sète looking like Venice have been greatly exaggerated . But there is the sea, and a couple of canals. On the very top of a hill in Sète, there is a church which is a top attraction according to TripAdvisor. As usual, my curiosity got the best of me and since I had time, I decided to check it out. Did I mention it is on top of a hill? On the last stretch of the way up, I was pushing my bike because it was so steep I couldn’t pedal anymore. As it sometimes happens, it wasn’t much of an attraction after all, just a small nondescript building. Sometimes I wonder why do I do those things: go out of my way to see something, try something, do something. Maybe I should preserve my energy instead. Anyhow – checked, moved on.

The ride itself was nice, most of it along beaches and a river bank, if only a bit too hot.

Montpellier is somewhat familiar to me, I was here a few years back with Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria tour. And now it’s also familiar because I met Julie’s (my wife, for those who are not familiar with us) cousin, the last unknown member of the big family. Valentin and his girlfriend Emy welcomed me in their small apartment in the heart of Montpellier. He cooked us dinner, we drank wine, we chatted about my trip, about his job as sound designer, Emy’s psychology studies, movies, Pulp, Cortazar, Nabokov, and the superiority of Russian vodka. It was a lovely evening with super nice people. And then there was a bed, the cherry on the cake.

The city itself is as nice as I remember it, full of young people, a lot of cafes, music all over la Place de la Comedie.

Today in numbers:
65 km – distance covered
500 m – pushing bike uphill while questioning if it’s worth the effort
4h49m – riding time
169 bpm – maximum HR