What another amazing morning here in Southern France!!!! Today’s ride is a retrace of a ride I did 3 1/2 years ago and was one of my favorites from that amazing cross country trip. Check it out here. You will notice a couple of big differences, first I was shooting with by iPhone at that time and secondly, it was Spring not Autumn.
My apologies up front, today for a variety of reasons, was my first real day of riding and shooting photography. I stopped at just about every turn and soaked it all in!
My ride today was just over 50 kilometers and although there was about 2000 feet of climb, there was only 2 categorized climbs. The first one I did 3 years ago and its one that brought me back to this area. It is Route D8 from Vileneuvette to Salasc through the village of Moureze. Perhaps the best 8 kilometers of road on the planet!?! Of course everyone knows that is not true, those 8 kilometers exist just out of Lauret and I will be riding those on Saturday morning!
Autumn views on the D8!
To my delight, the D8 had been repaved since the last time I did it. This is the top of the climb before dropping into Salsac. This area is know as the Dolimites of Moureze.
A few clicks later and I had my first views of Lake Salagou, a large man made lake here in the region.
This its a volcanic region and the soil here is quite red.
Next up the village of Liausson. Remember Mt Liausson from yesterday? This village sits at the base and is named for the peak…..or is the peak named for the village?
A few minutes later and I am looking across the valley at the Village and Mountain of Liausson.
I ran across this flock of sheep. I stopped and talked to the shepherd and pet his sheep dog. You can just make them out standing on the other side of the road. I explained to him that the sheepdogs in Idaho are quite mean and not to be pet! And yeah, there were zero cars on these roads, the sheep were fine.
Another view looking back on the fat part of Lake Salagou. As a point of reference, that small dot on the lake is a fishing boat.
Here is the Lake Salagou dam and beyond it is the valley I will be dropping into.
A couple more dam pictures! (upstream and downstream)
A shot of the switchbacks dropping into the canyon below the dam. Notice the mountain bikers rolling up the road.
Here ya go:
Another view kilometers and it was time for a snack break.
Prickly Pair Cactus……
Crossing the River Lergue.
I have really been coveting these little vans. Farmers here do not use pickups, they use these little Citron vans. Two seats and room for a bike in the back!!!! If I could get one and bring it back to McCall, that would be awesome! Rolling up Lick Creek Road for a hike or backpack C’est tres bien!
More countryside pictures, the beauty of this area is off the charts!
Next, a stop in the village of Montpeyroux to have lunch with mon velo…. A random stop at a small cafe and it was one of the best meals I have had since my arrival in Europe two weeks ago….. WOW!
Finally, as I approach my destination for the day, St Guilhiam, I enter the Herault River Canyon. This is a significant river in this region. My favorite department in France is Department 34 or the Department Herault. I invite you to learn more about it here. You will see a bunch more pictures of the Herault River here in the next few weeks……