Day 7 – Sur le pont d’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse

Early morning I said Au revoir to Valentin and Emy and set off for a long riding day. I wanted to visit Nîmes, often referred to as the French Rome, and Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct and UNESCO World Heritage site, and then finish the day in Avignon.

The ride started smoothly and in one hour I covered 25 km. But then strong wind suddenly came and the struggle began. It seemed that whichever way I was going it was always blowing right in my face. Was something wrong with my face?

I made it to Nîmes, wandered there for a while and saw a few very well-preserved Roman buildings. Unfortunately, most of the city center streets were under construction, so I left sooner than I otherwise would have

Then there was a grueling 20 km to Pont du Gard, with stronger wind. This time, it was worth the effort: the structure is impressive and in very good shape for something build almost 2000 years ago. The best view of the viaduct is from the top, which you can reach by a path with steps – no can do for me.

From there I got a little bit of a break as the wind changed direction ever so slightly, but enough to take notice – though I was once blown off the road and onto the shoulder.

Seven hours later I finally arrived in Avignon, once a Papal city. There is a very well preserved city wall that encompasses the old part, as well as a Papal Palace and the Pont d’Avignon. While I was taking pictures of it, a gust of wind knocked my bike down and broke the kickstand. It was an expensive, good looking, not very practical piece of equipment.

Today was the first time Warm Showers came through: I found a host who agreed to let me crash on her couch. Anne is a sound engineer and has a small recording studio at home. She showed me some music of artists she recorded, explained how sampling works, fed me and even called her neighbor Alain who fixed my kickstand with a piece of pipe and silicon.

So, tonight I will sleep in a bed again and won’t worry about my tent and I being blown away by the wind that seems to be getting stronger.

Today in numbers:

8h24m – time it took me to get to a bed
114.8 km – distance covered
64.2 km/h – fastest speed
2 – UNESCO World Heritage sites visited