A Provisional Ride: Sarras to Rochemaure - South from Burgundy - CycleBlaze

June 9, 2016

A Provisional Ride: Sarras to Rochemaure

I am keeping a close eye on the weather. The outlook is for rain tomorrow, so I'm going to continue heading south to try to avoid it. The velo route south is right by the hotel, but the signage is missing due to construction. That will prove to be a continuing problem as I get farther south on the Via Rhona. Anyway, I found to route after crossing the river and then recrossing and taking the only left turn between the river and the railway. After a brief stop in St. Jean de Mujols to look at the narrow gauge railway, it was smooth sailing to Valence.

It is said that Wade Boggs used to eat chicken before every game when he played for the Boston Red Sox. He would love it here, where every bistro in Valence had some sort of fowl on the menu. I had chicken with mashed potatoes and Tarte Tatin for dessert. From Valence, the Via Rhone is difficult to follow. In fact it really doesn't exist at all, the signs indicate the way to the Via Rhona, and not the route itself. By following those signs I eventually got to le Pouzin, where the signs now said "route provisoire" . This turns out to follow an old railway grade uphill for about 9 km before another sign directs you onto small farm roads. Now it gets really interesting. If you want to follow the Via Rhona because it's flat, this is NOT the way to go. The granny gear really got a workout, and at one point, I was reduced to getting off and pushing. But, finally, the down hill comes and I swooped down into Meysse, where I rejoined the real Via Rhona once again. I followed it to Rochemaure, and a cheap hotel. There was even a Vietnamese restaurant across the street, a rarity in France, and I took advantage of the Nems and spicy pork on offer.

The Via Rhona in all its splendor.
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A reminder of the very ancient origins of Valence. Wonder what happened to the rest of the temple?
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Today's ride: 110 km (68 miles)
Total: 434 km (270 miles)

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