France 2018 – Atlantic to the Mediterranean
Joe headed off to France to ride with a group from Bordeaux to Sete over 15 days making it from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. He was joined by Pam, Gaylene and Owen – first time cycle tourists!
Getting it together – The beauty of having a company like Green Jersey is the opportunity to explore our world. Whether it is by ourselves or with tour groups, we like nothing more than to get out among it and find our way. Touring in France extends our Summer and offer the opportunity for new comers to experience cycle touring.
Our promise is one of discovery, we don’t suggest we are experts in all the places we visit, but we do offer an easy, no stress way to get on a bike and ride, you can forget about the hassle of organising it yourself!
Getting started in Bordeaux we are greeted by a bustling city with plenty of car-free streets, strange to thing such compact and populated spaces still find a way to cater safely for all transport modes. It doesn’t take long for us to find our way out of the city and onto the country lanes and canal side trails.
Canal Riding takes us away from the maddening crowds where we explore the tree-lined age old route. This is an evolving landscape as bacterial disease rips through the magnificent plane trees that are now being removed in some parts.
Canal boats ply the waterways and navigate the locks that are dotted along the route. The nine locks of Fonsérannes are evidence of the determination of french engineers.
The locks allow boats to ride 21.5metres over a distance of 300 metres.
Engineering feats from Roman times exist with aquaducts transferring water large distances, sights unseen in New Zealand.
Meeting the locals in their native environment is great fun with lots of hilarity over mistranslated conversations, common exuberance for sport and cultural associations. Being on a bike makes us super accessible to locals who are always intrigued by the pelotons that take over their countryside.
Eating out along the way provides an opportunity for everyone to explore a little on their own, discover markets, restaurants and cafes that suit their tastes, a crusty baguette with local cheese , ham mustard and a glass of wine is a common treat. We get together for shared meals at times throughout the tour to Toast our progress.
Arriving in Sete at the end of the tour offers a feeling of satisfaction and reflection as we bid farewell to our trusty steeds and head off on the next leg of our journey.