4,119km down: 2,106km to go (2/3 of the way there!)
Another early start, we had a 130k to cycle, but it turned out to be 132k – I only mention it because the day was hard – 10 hours on the road and by 130k I was ready to give it up. One of the riders clearly felt worse as they gave it up in Nice and caught a train the rest of the way! There was no lunch truck as nowhere to park so we had taken a packed lunch, so he did not have the usual option of catching the lunch truck.
We travelled along the Ligurian coast (also known as the Italian Riveria) until we crossed into France, it is very very beautiful, I would not mind coming back here.
To start off with we were on SS1, after about 35k we stopped for coffee and a pastry, and spoke to a young lady (Luciana) from the flower shop next door. Luciana was really interested to hear about our bike trip and hopes one day to do one. We had another day of really pretty towns but of course now that it’s Monday, all of a sudden we were in rush hour traffic. One of the riders Scott said it was like being in a pin ball game and it was cars, scooters, walkers etc everywhere, it was crazy, mad traffic.
We crossed the border into France after 57k, and immediately the architecture changed and of course the signs as well.
We were on a mixture of the A8, D37, D35, D6908. We climbed quite a lot – over a 1,000 metres over the day, looking at the bays and yachts and the launches – millions of dollars in boats!
We had the option to take a small detour into Monaco, which seeming as it is another country we decided to take. We went 1k in and had lunch at a museum. However as we had not bought lunch at the museum we were not particularly welcome. First off we all got asked to stand up, and then we were asked to move completely from the property. We had taken a packed lunch of Vegemite and cheese buns (one of the riders had left his stash of Vegemite when he left in Venice so of course Brett and I swooped on it), I’m not sure our black toothed smiles covered in Vegemite helped the situation.
Anyway at least we can say we had lunch in Monaco. After Monaco the next large town was Nice, and we were back into the pinball machine game again, thankfully we went through the outskirts and only spent about 10 minutes in the traffic. Amazing, there was a bike path that lasted about 22k.
The day was hilly and hot and seemed to go on and on. Just before Cannes there was a lovely little town, we thought it was Cannes until we kept riding and didn’t see any orange flags, and then to my horror we were out of town and climbing a hill again. Thankfully it was not much further and we came into Cannes, which was certainly nothing like the small town we had just left.
I got to the hotel and unpacked, it was too late for the laundry so it will have to wait until tomorrow as will the post box! I spent over 10 hours on the bike today, no wonder I’m stuffed.
I met Michele, John and Brett at 6:30pm for dinner, we went to a really nice seafood restaurant. After dinner we went for a walk along the beach, and paddled a little bit. I can’t believe how warm the sea is, and no wind!
We are staying at an Ibis hotel so we were fairly confident of it having air conditioning and Wifi and we were right, we have both.
The beaches from France until the town before Cannes were stony rather than sand, so I was happy to see sand reappearing in Cannes.