The Giant of Provence - Part 1

Posted on: August 7th, 2016
Mt. Ventoux is affectionately known as the Giant of Provence, because you can see it from 100 miles away. We're staying in Mazan, about 10 miles from the base, in a chateau that was the summer residence of the Marquis de Sade (from whom sadism was named!). Here are the chateau from the pool and the view of the walled village from our room -- not too bad!

Today we rode from Mazan to Bedoin, and then up Mt. Ventoux. There are three paved roads up Mt. Ventoux, and the one from Bedoin is the one they use for the Tour de France because it is relentless - it climbs more than 5,000 feet in 11 miles, and there is a stretch of more than 6 miles of 10%! Let's just say this is one of the most difficult climbs in France, and the reward at the summit is a huge sense of accomplishment and beautiful views.

Here's the road we just climbed up, with Mazan in the distance.

After a great lunch at the ski station 1/3rd of the way down, we descended one of the other roads to Sault, a quaint little town that is the lavender capital of the world. We just missed lavender harvest, but here's a field that was not yet harvested. The smell was fantastic!

After Sault we rode through the beautiful Nesque Gorge, and then back to Mazan where we had a fantastic dinner at a farm to table restaurant in town.

Au revoir for now!
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