Manosque to Tavernes – 45km
(D907, D4, D554)
You win some, you lose some. This morning was everything yesterday wasn’t – gloomy, cold, drizzle and a heavy truck route with absolutely no shoulder. However, it is still Provence and the scenery is stunning. While it remained cool (this is not the weather we expected to be experiencing in the south of France!) and overcast, the rain did stop by noon. We are now cycling through the Parc natural régional de Verdon with its hilly woodlands of oak and other deciduous and olive trees, vines, cereal crops and a scattering of sheep. Tall cypress trees are planted near Provençal farmhouses (mas), traditionally a symbol of hospitality.
Today’s surprise was the Château of Verdière. Originating from 980, it has a commanding view of the countryside.
Tavernes, our stop for the night is a small town built as a circulade which served as a style of defence for communities before the bastide towns were built two centuries later. From above, the streets form an “escargot”.