Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fontaine de Vaucluse, Take 3

The intention today was to do a relatively short and less hilly ride – an out-and-back to the nearby town of Fontaine de Vaucluse, which Kathy and I have visited on both of our prior trips to Provence.

Well, the ride was SHORT, at least mileage-wise (45.8 km or 28.5 miles), but it most definitely was not FLAT.

Ride from Venasque to Fontaine…


Ride back to the villa in Venasque, using an alternate route we cooked up over lunch…


The second profile still may look pretty extreme, but it is a cake-walk by comparison to the first one. The last few kilometers of the second profile represent the climb up to our villa in Venasque. The road gains a bit less than 400 feet of altitude over a distance of 2.8 km. That works out to be about 4 to 5%, which, when it goes on for almost 3 km, might not be fun, exactly, but it is not too bad.

Anyway, back to Fontaine. This little village is noted for its prolific spring, which spews out a literal river (The Sorgue) of crystal clear water.


In spite of the fact that it is a popular tourist destination, I have always found the place to be charming. That beautiful little river makes up for the dozens of merchants selling souvenirs a few feet away. That’s true for me, at least. Kathy is sure that three visits is more than enough.

Tomorrow is our last full day here. Our plan is for just a short ride in the morning, as Fred and Pat’s bikes must be returned to the shop in Sault, and the rest of us must disassemble and pack our tandems. We are supposed to be out of the villa no later than 10 AM on Saturday.

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