Tain L’Hermitage to Viviers

This was one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. The riding was a mix of nice hard roads with some very ropey surfaces towards the end. In total the distance worked out to be 47 miles by the time I'd missed a few turns and deviated to explore a little.

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The morning was cycling through beautiful rolling countryside with the mountains rising in the distance, thankfully not in front of me!

Having ticked off a good distance before lunchtime I decided not to stop, but to keep going to the campsite I'd picked out. The only thing which stopped me was this;

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The view of Viviers from down on the Rhône banks was breathtakingly beautiful. I knew that my campsite was only a couple of miles from Viviers so I pushed on and resolved to come back and explore later.

The campsite was interesting. Seems I'd gone off the beaten tourist trail and there was no English spoken at all. I managed in my terrible French to get a pitch for the night and unloaded the bike. The site was so un-threatening I left everything there and set off on the bike to investigate Viviers. It felt seriously weird riding without the additional 30kg of gear in the bike - it was so light and responsive I could hardly ride it at first....

But I made my way up into Viviers. It's simply stunning. I shall let some pictures tell the tale for a while....

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Riding up the cobbled streets was interesting, but I was in no rush and the view from the cathedral grounds at the top was amazing;

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After I'd had my fill of this place I headed back to the campsite and found the bar to be open.....one of the first French phrases I learned for this trip, "Could I have a large beer please " was rolled out repeatedly until the arrival of the pizza van. Once my pizza arrived I took it and a bottle of local Ardeche wine back to my tent for a quiet night and looked at my route for the next day with a certain amount of trepidation. 63 miles to Nimes with a couple of steep climbs in the middle. Good job I hadn't had too much to drink
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