Roussillon to L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue - Poking Around Europe 6.0 - CycleBlaze

May 28, 2019

Roussillon to L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue

Gordes was a Zoo!

Another unexpected day, in so many ways. We took advantage of our final seven jammer breakfast at Les Sables d’Ocre. To make our departure even more difficult, it was Olivia’s day off, the wonderful front desk tour guide, check in person and jack of all trades, so we had to say goodbye to her last night. We rode up through Roussillon, one of our favourite places this tour and we were on our way, into the teeth of the wind. Sheesh. 

View of the pool from our balcony last night.
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Next time I am staying a week.
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It was sunny and it was windy. A happy coincidence was seeing Susan of French Cycling Holidays going up the hill to Roussillon with her fifty year old celebrants as we were headed down. It was a very quick, very great encounter.  Lots of smiling and waving. 

We had a mix of sun and high wispy clouds today, but the wind was the star of the show. We had planned a short day because we wanted time to explore both Gordes and L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue. With the wind blowing, as far as I was concerned, that was a brilliant decision. Hint: it wasn’t blowing in the right direction. 

The first unexpected moment was when we went through Joucas. We both loved it. A tiny Provence town that had so much charm.  It is called “Le Village des Sculptures et Pierre” so that gives you an idea.  Keith was taking pictures so I stopped oh so fortunately in front of Le Labyrinthine d’Art. It was amazing. What we would miss if we weren’t on bikes. 

Joucas. Ever heard of it? Neither had we.
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Zipping up the hill.
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Good thing I had so many cappuccinos at breakfast. This was tempting and we had only gone about 8 km.
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What a lucky place to wait for the chief photographer.
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This gallery was three floors and amazing. We had it to ourselves.
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The artists were Mieke Heybroek and Ulysses Plaud. We felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to view their work in such a stunning setting.
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Then it was onwards and upwards to Gordes. The cars and tour buses as we approached should have been the first clue. It was market day. Add to that the fact that the wind was howling. The market vendors merchandise was blowing off tables, there were a ton of people and vehicles and bicycles and dogs. It was totally unexpected. The wind, which was strong in the valley was amplified in Gordes, and at one point, with both feet on the ground and straddling my bike I was hit by a gust and almost went over. Keith and I retreated behind a wall in the lee of the wind and had lunch. 

A short cut through the woods to Gordes.
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It looks so peaceful up there.
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And is still peaceful here.
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These tomatoes. Wow.
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Here we have retreated to consider our options.
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Ah, benches and a huge wall between us and the wind. Another couple of bike tourers on another bench with maps out, considering their options.
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Cars every which way, motorcycles, bicycles, people, vendors, merchandise blowing off racks and tables. It was hilarious. It would have been okay on foot, but on foot with a loaded touring bike, not so much!
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We could still appreciate a good display though.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesWow, a 12 jammer jammer!
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2 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesOn my second read through now, I find my comment was going to be the same as the first time. But on closer inspection I can add that the flavours are almost all fruit plus some sort of herb, like thyme, mint, and lavender.
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10 months ago
Keith ClassenHi Steve - I want to thank you for your comments which has lead me to rereading the blog as well. More correctly reading some of it probably for the first time. Kathleen of course would do all the work while I did other things like a short nap and planning the next day. She would often ask if I read the daily entry. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t as I just experienced that day. Rereading certainly highlights what a great trip it was and I am very thankful that Kathleen took the time and effort to record it. Without the record it would be a blur. It is now a welcome escape back to better days away from this covid business. Hope you and Dodie are well! Stay healthy!
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10 months ago
Gordes is beautiful. No question.
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On our way out of town the views were stunning.
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The CN routed us down what seemed like a back alley past astonishing Provence mansions and between rock walls. A wind break. He is a genius.
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I found I was getting tired and realized that the wind roaring in my ears was part of the problem. I mentioned this to Keith, who doesn’t have the same experience. In wind like today the noise drives me crazy...but he doesn’t have the noise. I have been staring at the shape of his ears and when there is a mirror nearby, mine. Why do I get this deafening roar and he doesn’t??  

Then another unexpected moment. We rounded a corner and there was another incredible village. We are so astonished by these experiences. A fantastic village that we have never heard of. We had fun exploring it. 

We rounded a corner and there was Lagnes. Ever heard of it? Nor had we. Of course we came through between noon and two and it was deader than a doornail (this is France after all), but beautiful and interesting.
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Here we learned about the Brotherhood of the White Penitents. We had never heard of them either. Even in this out of the way spot, the interpretive signs were in French and English.
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Here you go. Fascinating stuff, it really is.
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Then we spun the pedals to L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue. What an amazing spot. We arrived early and had a good explore of the town. We trolled through the cheese shops, wine shops and bakeries to replenish our feed bag. The mistral, as it is supposed to do, has completely died this evening as I write this, but no worries, it is forecast to blow again tomorrow. I am wearing ear plugs!

Good bones, but deferred maintenance.
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Just such a beauty.
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Our hotel.
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L’Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue is a beautiful spot.
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Norte Dame des Anges.
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There are over 100 angels in the church.
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On one of our foodie stops we checked out a truffle shop. We can happily report that it had the most charming sales person we have ever met. He is working hard on his already excellent English. Actually soaking it up like a sponge. He had us at our sample of truffle chips...amazing. It was such a great experience and we were so impressed by this young man. He has a great future. 

Deojo, the super salesman and myself. I hope we have spelled his name correctly. It was so great to meet him. We were charmed. He was so energetic and enthusiastic, showing us everything in the store. Incredible, really.
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Then it was beer by the river where we had a great chat about a great day followed by dinner. More wind is in the forecast tomorrow hehe. Should be interesting!  We are going to get a good sleep to be ready for it. 

Beer is to the left. So that is where we went.
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What could keep the chief photographer happier than a riverside post ride recovery beverage complete with ducks to photograph?
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On the walk back to the hotel.
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https://www.relive.cc/view/2403756879

Today's ride: 33 km (20 miles)
Total: 1,380 km (857 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
Steve Miller/GrampiesThe difference in wind noise could be in your helmets. They could each cause the wind to rush around a little differently.
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2 years ago