Tavernes to Frejus – 77km
(D32, D560, D10, DN7)
Last evening, Yves, one of our hosts at the Au Puits de la Fontaine, kindly gave us a lift into Barjols for dinner at the eclectic La Part Des Angels. In the car, we identified that Nina Simone was on the CD and on the way back and sitting for a time in the car park, we had a delightful conversation (in French) about “golden oldies” and jazz. Yves is a great vinyl enthusiast and has a large collection of all genres, which unfortunately we did not have time to see. Both Veronique and Yves made us very welcome in their beautifully restored house in vieux Tavernes, which shows off a number of other items collected by the couple, such as around 40 wine-corkers made of Boxwood. They obviously like to join their guests at breakfast and we had another interesting conversation this morning. It touched on many subjects, including concerns about this weekend’s presidential election and the implications for France and the EU of the polarization in France, and the disaffection of the youth. Yves told us that his father had Parkinson’s and he was very interested in our trip. We took a group photo before pedaling off on a chilly morning.
The three long hills Veronique had mentioned were OK and the route otherwise descended to the coast, with lots of hairpin turns and spectacular views of the forested countryside. The traffic was light until we got close to Frejus, when it became awful. When we stopped to consider whether there were other options, a cyclist around our age pulled up to ask if we needed help. He said an alternative route would take us far around the city, is very hilly and would add another 10km. We persevered for a while longer until the constant barrage of traffic and lack of shoulder finally forced us off onto side roads, some no more than a tough track, but peaceful!
We continue to face challenges with the Garmin. It seems it doesn’t like it when we load a route from Ride with GPS and then go off it, e.g., to look for coffee. The Garmin suddenly shuts off and we lose the tracking it has done. This problem has been identified by others.
The unexpected: the nationalistic writing above the door of the church in Salernes; perhaps from the Revolution?