“ Provence we love you ”
On the 2018-12-06 by Nick
We spent a month cycling in France. One of the trips, our trip through the Orange area in Provence was arranged by Velo Voyageur. Provence was definitely the highlight of our trip, the scenery is beautiful, lavender fields (just, end of season), harvest time for the grapes. The chateaux at Grignon is not to be missed and some of the other small towns we ambled through were just charming. Velo Voyageur were great to deal with, we changed my wife's booked bike to an eBike about a week before the trip, no problem. We had some issues first up with the brakes on my wife's eBike, again no problem a mechanic turned up and fixed them in the morning. Later on we decided to swap an extra night at the end of the trip in Orange for an extra night at the lovely vineyard of Domaine de Cabasse (and the lovely lady in reception, pay her extra Mr vineyard owner, she's worth every Euro), again the support was wonderful, no problem. Don't miss the optional ride through the Dentelles, it's worth the effort, and to be fair the steep climb is only short and pretty much un-rideable.
The hotels we stayed at were better than expected, on an earlier trip with another company (to be fair a different and probably more expensive area) we always seemed to have the smallest room at the top of the last flight of stairs. On this trip the hotels were very good and low key, friendly. Often a km or two from the closest town but we loved that and anyway a km or two by bike is nothing. So all in all a wonderful trip organised by a really good company. We would love to do another trip sometime when we have saved enough leave and $ to head back over from New Zealand.
Yes we did get lost a few times, mainly at the end of the day when we weren't concentrating on the distances and instructions. But on the whole the back roads keep you well away from traffic which is great. Anyway French drivers are much more courteous than NZ drivers, in NZ they would rather kill you at 100kph than wait 10 seconds behind you (although it has improved a bit from a few years ago). Oh and I forgot to say how many wonderful French people we met during our trip. Take the effort to learn a little French and the payback will be well worth it.
Best job in the world? I think it would have to be a cycle trip planner and reviewer for Velo Voyaguer!