Arles to Salin de Giraud - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 4, 2018

Arles to Salin de Giraud

We run out of Rhone.

4th June Monday  48kms

Arles to Salin de Giraud

We run out of Rhone.

Wake to clear skies, and the ambient roar of traffic which seems to start about 4:00am. During the night our exped air mattresses both emit  loud explosive bangs as two of the baffles become one big balloon shaped baffle. After that, it’s like trying to sleep on a giant balloon. So over coffee and wifi we plot a course to the Arles - yes-Decathlon. Exped replacements are impossible to find so we are back to roll up mats. Simple, but effective, we hope.

Our kaput air mattresses.
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The route from Arles to Salin de Giraud passes Van Gogh Pont (the one in the painting) and then follows the Rhone canal in a straight and unswerving route of about 40 kms towards the sea and the end of the Rhone Route.

Van Gogh’s Pont.
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 At the pont we chat to a couple of intrepid Romanians who are heading for more mountains after already crossing a few from Genoa. They look very buff and tanned as you would expect and their English is excellent.

Long straights to the sea.
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Along the route the skyline stretches forever and the fields of rice pattern the landscape. This is reputed to be bad mozzie territory so we are on the watch. The Semi wild white horses of the Camargue are much in evidence as well as long horned cattle and shaggy sheep.


Camargue horses.
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The lamb roast is reputed to taste a little more salty because of the marshy fodder- just add pepper. Vineyards also produce a local variety that has a reputation- good presumably.

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After 40 kms of flat and straight we reach the ‘fin’ sign for the Via Rhona. Hard to believe that a few weeks back we started in Geneve on a very different looking river. From here we enjoy  a Rhone cruise across the river on the Bac de Bacarin ferry, to find Salin de Giraud on the other bank.

The end of the Via Rhona.
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Port Saint Louis du Rhône.
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Crossing the Rhone.
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Salin de Giraud, in contrast to the slightly shabby Avignon and Arles, is a rather swept up looking town with obviously recent renovations to its older buildings. The terraced housing of the salt workers have become attractively blue-shuttered apartments.

Memorial expressing gratitude to the Vietnamese workers who were coerced into labour in France between 1939 and 1952.
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Pride of place perhaps is the camping ground we’ve landed in - it’s brand new!

Our brand new campground at Salin de Giraud.
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 And unused by the look. Looking out of the reception window we behold an amazing, fountain featured swimming pool. Not for us, unfortunately - the place is so new that the pool hasn’t been opened. The allure of the fountain is just that. Still,  a pleasant day and the special light of the broad landscape give a clue as to its appeal to a certain painter.

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 606 km (376 miles)

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