July 5th_7th 2017 – Avignon to Manosque – On the loose in Vaucluse amongst numerous vineyards and fields of lavender

This week’s photo shows numerous lavender fields in the Nesque valley not far from the medieval village of Sault. The photo was taken at roughly 900 m in altitude not far from the Col des Abeilles looking down at the valley, which is about 700 m above sea level. This part of France around the medieval town of Sault is famous for it’s lavender fields and the town draws thousands of tourists every year. Sault is also one of the 3 starting points, along with Bedoin and Malaucene, for climbing Mont Ventoux. So where better for a cycle tourist like myself to go than to Sault where thousands of tourists and cyclists also go every year. I could have taken a more direct route between Avingnon and Manosque but I am so glad I went via Sault and  through the Nesque valley as the scenery was spectacular

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Total distance cycled Wednesday July 5th from Avignon to Sault – 85 km (includes 1,400m of climbing). Total distance cycled so far on 2017 Tour de Travoy – 3,775 km. I madet he mistake of not taking the direct road from Mazan to Sault and instead went by Bedoin. It was only 10 km or so extra but it added about 700m of climbing to my route today, which took an extra 2 hours.

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Crossing the Rhone in Avignon. The Rhone splits in 2 about 10 km north of Avignon so you have to cross it twice to get to Provence.

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Medieval city of Avignon.

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Pont Saint Benezet in Avignon.

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Palais des Papes in Avignon.

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Close up view of Pont Saint Benezet.

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Entrance to Pont Saint Benezet museum.

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Elephant bleu car wash in outskirts of Avignon. Seeing as Hannibal had 30 elephants with him when he crossed the Rhone near Avignon, i thought it appropriate to post a shot of an Elephant bleu car wash.

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First combine harvester spotted today near Saint Saturnin. Normally, the harvest starts at the end of June in the south of France, but as the weather has been cool and damp the last few weeks in most of France, the harvest has been delayed slightly.

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Poster for a bull-fight on July 20th in Pernes. The bull-fight is a Camarguase bull-fight in which the bulls are not killed.

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Sign for Pernes in both French and the Provencal language. I had no idea that Provence had it’s own language until coming across this sign. Just like in Brittany and the Basque part of France, signs for towns in this part of Provence show both the French name and the Provencal name.

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Pharmacy sign in Pernes shows a temperature of 33 degrees.

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First sighting of Mont Ventoux. My first impression on seeing Mont Ventoux from almost 50 km away was how huge it looked.

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Vineyard near Saint Didier. Wine has been produced in the Rhone Valley since Roman times and i must have passed by 100 vineyards today.

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View of Mont Ventoux from a roundabout near Bedoin.

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Poster on approach to Bedoin. The poster translates as ” The winners on Mont Ventoux are amongst the most prestigous cyclists in the world and they all made their name on Mont Ventoux”.

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Mont Ventoux vineyard.

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Pizza Phil, the famous pizza restaurant in Bedoin. Most of their pizzas are only a tenner and they do a menu velo with spaghetti bolognaise, a drink and a coffee for €10 also.

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Start of the climb of Mont Ventoux. It is 21 km from Bedoin to the summit of Mont Ventoux at 1912m. The road rises 1,550m so the average gradient is 7.2%.

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Citroen 2CV outside garage in Bedoin.

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Mont Ventoux from near Bedoin. You can read all about my climb of Mont Ventoux on Thursday July 6th here.

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Col des Abeilles between Bedoin and Sault.

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The medieval town of Sault is surrounded by lavender fields.

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World War 2 memorial near Sault.

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Camping municipal du Defends.

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Total distance cycled Friday July 7th from Sault to Manosque – 65 km (includes 800 m of climbing). Total distance cycled so far on 2017 Tour de Travoy – 3,840 km. Mostly downhill today though the heat of over 30 degrees made the going very tough at times.

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Solar farm near Saint Trinit.

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I bid adieu to the Vaucluse and enter the Alpes de Haute Provence region of France.

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Lots of lavender fields on today’s route.

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Award winning pottery near St-Michel-l’Observatoire.

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Plastic pots in a field near St-Martin-les-Eaux.

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Travoy at the Col de Montfuron.

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Sign for Manosque decorated with flowers.

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My pitch for the night at Camping Provence Vallee in Manosque.

 

 

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