We spent two nights in the same hotel in Cavaillon, which I appreciated because that hotel offered the best breakfast options I had in Provence. It also allowed us a pannier-free ride as well! No need to take the luggage, if you're returning to the same hotel at the end of the day. Wow those bikes felt light and free, without carrying our luggage along!
After some debate, Lynn and I decided to ride to Avingion -- it's supposed to be around 34km. We ended up doing more, as you will soon see.
The way to Avignon was lightly described in our route sheets, but not thoroughly. Somehow we managed to begin by leaving the city in the exactly opposite direction from where we were supposed to. Oops. I hadn't even looked at the city map, since Lynn said she had things under control. And she thought she did, but... well maybe she just had her map upside down.
Not seeing anything that looked like the bridge we were supposed to find, finally we stopped at a little flower shop and asked, and she pointed out how lost we were. "Vous n'etes pas du tout sur la bonne route! Pas du tout!" Not at all! She recommended we ride all the way around the back side of the city on the autoroute, then cross the bridge where we were supposed to.
Finally we found the bridge over the Rhone, but once again we got confused. Just past the Rhone was a bridge over the freeway, but our route sheets told us to turn right after the river. Apparently it *meant* for us to first cross both bridges, but we ended up turning right and riding along a tiny path between the river and the freeway. It was pretty, though gravely and full of large potholes.
Eventually we realized that we should be on the other side of the road, so we found a bridge and crossed. I thought it was a pedestrian bridge, but Lynn pointed out that it actually accommodated cars going both directions! It's funny: that would be kind of a cramped little pedestrian bridge in the US.... Anyway the bridge failed us because we ended up in somebody's vineyard with nothing but overgrown tractor tracks to follow. So we crossed back over, and looked for the second bridge shown on our map (fortunately we had a map we were trying to follow, even if it wasn't very detailed).
We encountered a nice man walking his dog, and he tried to give us directions -- except he really preferred to talk about the war, once he found out we were Americans. Darn, maybe I should have brought that Canadian flag after all! Not that he was rude to us, in fact nobody was. They just tended to want to talk politics. I played with his dog, while Lynn managed this conversation.
Finally he told us NOT to try the first bridge (too late), nor the second (c'est trop complicee), but the third would take us out of the country and to an actual village, Cabennes. From there we could get to the little town our route sheet recommended -- St Andiol. Although I didn't bother telling the nice man, I also noted that we could skip St Andiol altogether and go to the next town on our route sheet, Verquireres.
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