The advantage of staying in a hilltop village is the spectacular views. And getting a jump on the invading hordes.
The disadvantage of staying in a hilltop village is...well, it's a hilltop. And at 3 in the afternoon the ride home is hot and steep.
"Ow! Ow! My hand is cramping!" Wally said half way up the last hill.
And I thought, "Mine probably is too, but how would I know? It's totally numb."
It was cool when we set out this morning - chilly on the ride down, then perfect as we rolled through vineyards and tiny villages.
St-Pierre-des-Vassols, Modene and Caromb, or as we called them The Modern and ay! Caramba!
Beaume de Venise. Lafare. Some of the most beautiful cycling in the world is here, and it's not mobbed with tourists at present. No guarantees for the summer, you're on your own. But who in their right mind would cycle in the heat of summer?
We turn onto the D90a and it's a wall. Straight up to Le Barroux. No mercy. We climb roads not much wider than a tea cozy, praying there was no car coming as we weave our way up the steepest bits. We were rewarded by spectacular views, true, amazing gorgeous postcard perfect views, but we could barely see them for the sweat rolling down our faces and into our eyes, and the trembling in our legs.
Thought about a beer at lunch. Thought about how a beer would make my legs go all jelly and decided unless there was a stretcher option home I would not like to crawl up the hill. Passed on the beer. Home was further away this afternoon than it was this morning - tectonic plate shift is my best guess.
Off for a swim and to get that beer now that we're on top of the world.