Monday 21 April 2014
Jim jumps out of bed at 7 am and makes a cup of tea. Today we are going on the Airnimals for the first time, having assembled yesterday. Our host was very keen on them, immediately spotting that they are special and noticing the carbon forks. This morning we do all the last minute pumping of tyres, and attaching bags, lights and water bottles.
The sun is shining as we set off down the hill, only to find after 200 yards that my tyre is going down. We return and start fixing it, taking the wheel up onto the sunny terrace to work on. Only on putting the inner tube into a sink of water do we find that it is the valve that is leaking. We can’t fix that, so change the inner and finally we are ready again, this going all the way to Peille, up the haripins and the long steep ascent.
We arrive there at lunchtime, it starts to rain and we shelter the bikes inside a large stone laundry area. Over lunch we are joined by a party of Danish cyclists who have come up from Antibes. The rain continues, spoiling our plans to cycle over the high passes to St Agnes, and we cycle down to St Martin de Peillon and take the track back to Peillon itself as an experiment to see if it is feasible.
The going is a bit rough in places, but it certainly is do-able, taking around an hour and ten minutes on what seems to be a very well made ancient track. Back at home we sit on the terrace, even though it is quite cold and mostly cloudy, and look at maps.
When we were putting our bikes together, two old men stopped to talk, we could only just make out what they were saying. One of them was chewing a large sprig of rosemary, which on investigation we find has numerous health benefits.