La Grande Motte and the Camargue

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The Grand Hotel of Sète was one oder the last impression of this ancient town – and it isn’t easy to leave it…
Finally I could step into the mediterranean sea – after nearly 1000 km.

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And this day was also a day of meeting travellers from over the world – a couple from Germany, a guy from Berlin riding to Gibraltar, a french man from Arles on a trip to St. Malo with his recumbenttrike with – my trailer from the Netherlands!

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In the end I arrived in the Camargue – this day spending many kilometers on roads with traffic, wich was not always a pleasure.

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And in Les St. Maries-de-la-Mer there was a big ‘Fete Votive’ going on…
So in the evening the young people – with horses and by feet – ran after a ‘Torro’ through the streets – really spectacular (got only a video…)

When the night came a gipsy-band started to play on the beach and a fire was lighted on the sand…

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Ans finally the riders jumped with their horses after riding through the sea over the fire – what can you expect more from a holiday in the Camargue?

After this great day I’m going approach Marseille – as the last kilometers will be done by train. M.

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Grand day out in Africa

After a good night in my small tent – the first on the market made with recycled materials by vaude – and organic honey and crunchy choc cream – I cycled to Sigean.

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There weren’t too much people so I could left my trailer in the reception.
First I’ve visited about 4 hours the parc in the pedestrian area – some highlights were the flamingos, zebras, alligators, snakes and emus.

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You could also see elephants and camels.

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Having lunch was also very interesting – we had a guest.

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The following hour I spent in a minibus driving through the Parcours with big animals.

Most impressing were the Lions and bears – running around in huge places – and you as a human were only a guest.

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As I’ve had finished my visit I jumped on the train and entered the big city of Sète – and the youthhostel is situated as most times – on a hill…

I’ve explored the port and had a spectacular dinner… M.

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From Carcassone to Port Novelle/Narbonne

Well, I would say one of the days with the most scenic views and different landscapes…

It started yesterday evening when I was thinking how to detour the bad cyclepath along the canal – as every cyclist I met told me to do so.

I enjoyed the nightview of the castle from my room in the Abbey and checked this out on my IGN map.

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While breakfast I asked the priest who spoke perfect german – and he knew this part of the country as he lived there already – bingo!

So the 100 km started relaxed on a 25 km carnalpath with shadow at nearly 30 C.

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After that I took some smaller and one big road – and I could see the wineries – also one organic!

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Approaching Narbonne I didn’t know what is waiting for me – again it was the way quality I was warned about.
But it was better than I hoped – and again I was set to a new landscape – finally I reached (nearly) the mediterranean sea.

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And so I found a nice municipal camping in Port de la Novelle – and a restaurant with WiFi where next to me a kid got her birthdaycake – what do you want more…

Tomorrow I’m going to spend my day in the reserve africane next to Sigean – have a look!

WWW.reserveafricanesigean.fr

After this visit – wich will last the whole day – I’m going to take the train to Sète and sleep in the now reserved youthhostel. M.

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Moissac, Canal du midi and the fortress of Carcassonne

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It was really hard to leave this nice place with these friendly people – but early in the morning the pilgrims where on there path again.

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Starting a new day with new adventures I took the canal.

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Riding along this flat way you can think about what is important – and what not. I was  wondering if it would be a way for me to explore France, Spain or myself – I don’t know.
So if you’re on your way you’ll be many times alone…hmm

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Approaching Toulousse where I took the train to Carcassonne 10 km before the city it began to be – let’s say ‘not nice’. Industrial zones, no signs, dirt – not really a place to go. And it was the same with the city and it’s station. Even if there were police with automatic guns I didn’t feel very secure…

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Arriving in the big city of Carcassonne it was hard work to find my way through the streets and a Abbey as the auberge de jeunesse was fully booked.

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But than I could explore the ancient town as most tourists have left it already. A marvelous fortress with an unbelievable range of walls and hidden places. And finally I found a small restaurant where they offered a vegetarian menu…and there I wrote this blog… M.

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Leaving Bordeaux and sleeping in a pilgrims abbey

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At the station of Bordeaux – an overview of my next day – thanks to SNCF…

This day was very interesting…as I started from B. I soon found the former railway-track wich lead me through the woods – a little bit of rain came afterwards.
Some historical pics of building the track which was opened to the traffic in 1875 and was closed in 1986.

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I’ve also seen an mill from the 14th century.

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As I jumped the part between La Reole and Moissac I found coincidentally a pilgrims abbey where I met some really interesting people eating and laughing together in french, english and german – on their way to Santiago di Compostelle.

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Wonderful way of meeting people – even better than to sit in your tent or hotel – ‘I like!’ M.

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Discovering Bordeaux

This was the official travel-free day – so I could charge the batteries and myself and do some washing…
First I discovered some churches and at midday I had booked a citytrip.

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A couple from Germany did also that tour so I had since a long time a german conversation.

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After the tour we had a small wine tasting and I climbed the 231 steps to the top of the church of St. André.

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Finally I’d like to see the botanic garden wich was very modern but full of life…

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At the end of that wonderful and mostly sunny day I enjoyed the life in this really cool city.

Tomorrow I’m on the road again heading towards the mediterranean sea approaching the reservé africane. M.

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Arcachon, Bordeaux and ‘Fete de la Morue’ in Bègles

Yesterday I was riding through the woods from Montalivet to get the ferry to Arcachon as the way around the bassin was too long.

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Then I found a nice hotel as the forecast wasn’t to good – so I missed Cap Ferret.

Today on saturday I tried to get the bus – but I should have to wait 2 hours. So I started to ride to the Dune de Pilat – but on the way my ‘steering wheel’ didn’t fit any more so I had to return to find a tool to fix it.

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I took the train to Bordeaux and found a cool hotel next to the trainstation.

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At that time there was the ‘gay pride parade’ taking place and the whole ancient town was crowded.

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After visiting St. Andrew’s Cathedral I went out for dinner and found out that there is the ‘Fete de la Morue’ taking place – just at the last stop of the tram…A really cool music festival outside the city…

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Real cool ambiente, all the people on the street – with samba and jazz. Great!
Tomorrow I’m going on to discover the city ans hope that the rain will stop until monday. M.

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Through woods down to the bassin of Arcachon

With a big surprise I woke up and – there was no rain…it was really great to ride through the woods where pilgrims those days where walking – and still do today. But it was no easy life because very often you were on your own – no town or supply possibility.
The way leads you always through the woods – and they aren’t always flat like the netherlands.
There are many beaches you can visit and some are completely empty at this time of year.

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Finally I got to the bassin of Arcachon and took the small ferry. As there were really bad clouds coming up I decided to take a hotel – and after 108 km I finally could ‘Greeny’ give a rest.

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Big Bridges, big roads and a Jazz restaurant

After I found out that the peanut butter run out into my kitchenstuff I left Rochefort over the big bridge as the famous and old moving one started only at 10:00 h…

And as a gift I found an ancient castle where a complete village is protected. It’s called Forte Beauge and many small shops with African handcrafted goods offer their goods.

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Than I tried to go as quickly as I could to go to the ferry of Royan.

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And than a wonderful track was ahead of me – sun, bitume and flat.
So I arrived next to Ser where I put up my tent and went to the beach…and than to a really cool jazzy restaurant.

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But – the black clouds are coming up with a really strong wind and the weatherforecast till Monday says – rain. So we will see as tomorrow I’d like to go to the Dune de Pilat. Than I’m going to take the train to Bordeaux – and the youth hostel is full…it’s going to be interesting. M.

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The wonderful town of Rochefort

Today could have be done also by train…lots of  motorways and industrial zones.
Of course there was the nice city of La Rochelle – but I had to look for food and a dentist – and  this costed a lot of time.

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After that I went to the absolute highlight – Rochefort!
The ancient town is outstanding and we went for dinner in an Indian restaurant with delicious food. Also the camping municipal (5,50 €) is perfect and I’m sitting now with free Wi-Fi in front of the bar with evening-animation.

The wonderful ancient town is worth a second visit – especially the ship wich is now rebuilt according to plans from the 17th century – L’Hermine. It will roll out for the first time in 2014!

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So tomorrow I’m going to cross to.river and head to Royan where I have to take the ferry and than cycling through the woods. M.

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