From 1 to 21 September 1996, we cycled 620.6 km with T's brother and father.
Our trip was fantastic. The change between Burghundy, Beaujolais and Provence is subtle but marked. In Burghundy, we rode in the brilliant sunshine on tiny roads just wide enough for a tractor, through grand cru vineyards high up smelling pervasively of sulphur (coppersulphite to avoid mildew). Then down into the valley past huge fields of sunflowers, corn, or sugar beets; past a little medieval town where two men were roasting a pig on a spit over an open fire --ravishing smell; up again into more grand cru vineyards past chateaus with yellow tiled roofs sparkling in the sun. In Beaujolais, the yellow roofs were replaced with red and it was very hilly. (UP ow, ow, my legs. DOWN oh, oh, too cold) Suddenly in Provence, we saw palm trees, lavendar fields, rosemary hedges around stunning courtyard gardens, and on the side of the roads growing wild: dill, anise and rosemary. The smell was intoxicating. We had perfect weather until we reached Provence and then it got quite overcast. When we got to Gigondas, there were people wildly picking some of the vineyards; one man on a grape filled pick up truck raised his hat in salute to us, calling "Chapeau! Chapeau!" as we rode by. The next day it absolutely poured. We took the train from Orange to Avignon instead of riding because three of us (not me) had colds.
Thanks go to City.net excite travel for the France map template
and University of Texas library on line for the relief map template.