Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 186

This morning we awoke surrounded by mist in the chilly valley. Once the tourist office in Saint-Enemie opened at 9.30am I headed in to find some maps of the area and some guides of what one (or in this case, two) can do in the area. Inside there was a fantastic relief map of the entire Gorges du Tarn and the road following its path was all at the same, mainly flat level, much to the delight of my cycling chum, who is still only relatively new to the excitement to be found cycling up hills and mountains!

After breakfast we set off on what would become a 73.50km cycle. It was the furthest distance my friend had ever cycled in one day and took me past the 7,000km distance for my cycle touring adventure to date. The weather all day was stunning and the views and scenery simply breathtaking. Cycle touring at its most enjoyable surely.

Check out the optical illusion in the third photo from the bottom :)

The early morning mist soon lifted to reveal a beautiful sunny sky.





Access to the virgin on high.

The aforementioned virgin, on high as promised.

And that's how high. We cycled in on the road on the left hand side by the line of trees.




The remains of that bridge can still be seen in the clear water below. They have since built a replacement!



I was swimming in there moments later - in my nude! It was just like being in a film where they do those sorts of things whilst out and about adventuring. T'was most liberating.

Post swim and still in my nude, I ventured back into the middle of the river to shoot this picture. It was jolly treacherous sliding and stumbling over the slippery rocks trying not plunge my iPhone into the water. Worth it though I think.

It's amazing to think that the water once filled this gorge entirely!


It took me a while to figure out what these curious systems were for until upon closer inspection I noticed a buzzer on one of the side panels. I then realised that is was for the delivery of the post across the ravine!

Here's a little curiosity for you. Is this stretch of road ascending or descending? That's correct - it's descending, by 5 metres in fact! As we cycled along, I asked my friend if they were finding this apparent "climb" easy and they replied that yes they were. Until that is I pointed out that we were actually descending! The angle of the rocks to the left make it appear as if the road is ascending and is creating an optical illusion. Cover up the all the rocky bits with your hand or a piece of paper and you will in fact see that the road then appears to not rise at all!


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