The highlights so far? We met in Avignon but quickly biked out of the city. First stop was St. Remy, birthplace of Nostradamus but better known as the town where Vincent Van Gogh was institutionalized in a mental hospital and painted many of his masterpieces such as Starry Night. As we biked in the area it often felt as though we were moving through a Van Gogh painting.One of the great things about Zephyr bike tours is that we get to meet and spend time with people who love to travel, (presumably) love to bike, and are typically interesting travelers. And one of the inspiring parts of this trip is that three of the eight riders are over 70 years old. Yikes! They’re not the fastest riders on the road, but you have to be impressed by these three getting out and riding up and down hills for 25 to 35 miles a day. Here’s hoping I’m that healthy when I’m in my 70s! One of our activities after the bike rides was a cooking class. We learned how to peel asparagus and celery, make aoli, and cook risotto. What’s amusing is that they didn’t know how to make risotto or aoili. Risotto requires adding small quantities of liquid and stirring it in gently but constantly. The chef just through a bunch of liquid in at once, meaning we got a cooked rice dish with vegetables, not risotto. And they made the Aoli with potatoe instead of egg and oil. That’s just wrong.
So that’s our lives these few days. Mark & I rode about 50 miles today, some of it over steep and long hills. Past poppy fields, shepherds guarding their flocks (seriously), vineyards just starting to blossom out for the summer, poppies and irises, and – after two days of postcard-perfect weather – even some rain.