Salin-de-Giraud to Aigues-Mortes - Retyrement on 2 Wheels 2 - CycleBlaze

June 5, 2018

Salin-de-Giraud to Aigues-Mortes

Dig those Digues- Bikes on Dikes and a swim in the Mediterranean.



5th June Tuesday 67kms

Salin-de-Giraud to Aigues-Mortes 

Dig those Digues- Bikes on Dikes and a swim in the Mediterranean.

From the semi barren landscape of our newly created campground we headed for the digues. These are the dikes which run across the  Camargue National Park. For cycling, their surface was a little dodgy at the start (dodging potholes and ruts) but it soon improved to a firm if unsealed track.

Looking forward to a day on the Camargue.
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Far out phare!
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The mozzies were few but there was plentiful bird life, the pink flamingos being perhaps the most spectacular. They are an odd looking bird - ungainly yet graceful at the same time, poking their heads under the surface of the water for whatever takes their fancy. Apparently they are long livers- 50 years, and they don’t reach the pink of condition until 5 years.

Foraging in style.
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In the pink!
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The quiet of the area is striking especially after days filled with traffic noise. Small birds flit about and the horizon stretches away forever. In addition, I saw two snakes, one alive and one dead, and an animal we initially thought was a cat, casually standing in the middle of the track, but on closer inspection was a large stoat. 

At the halfway point on the route, stands the Phare de la Gacholle which has shone out since the early 19th century. From this point a considerable number of cycling day trippers, out from Saintes Maries dela Mer, began approaching us. Shouldn’t they have been at work? 

Phare de la Gacholle.
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There were German, French and Dutch grey nomads in abundance in their camper vans as well as the odd Brit, soaking up the sun.

We reach the Mediterranean!
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Soaking was next on our agenda, as we dived into the waters of the Mediterranean once we reached the coast proper. The area caters for tourists in vast numbers with a 15km stretch of beaches and a massive number of eateries providing paella, bouillabaisse and every other fishy dish possible. It was reasonably tasteful though with less of the garishness of some Riviera beaches.

Aigues-Mortes walls.
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We had allowed ourselves luxury at a moderate prix by staying in the 'Cœur of the Ramparts' of Aigues-Mortes, a walled town a little like Carcassonne.

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The small unit at ground level is parfait in every way with a kitchen, microwave and a bed twice the width of our tent! Joachim immediately recognises  us and greets us as we came down his small rue. Are  we so obvious? Having left behind his life in Paris, he tells  us that he never misses the hurley burley of his former world and loves this quieter area of his childhood.

Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 673 km (418 miles)

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