|winter scenery - lavender fields|
From around November until March Provence falls into its winter slumber which is what we love about this area. And what we have come to appreciate for riding our bikes. Granted, "we" would be Claudia and her friend Edith from nearby Saint Laurent du Verdon; Jim prefers to stay close to the warming hearth... along with Mimie and Mia, out cats
Being out-of-doors, bundles up against the chilly Northern winds, sometimes the Mistral, there is nothing more refreshing and energizing like a bike ride. Our favorite round - the long route - takes us from La Vudèle via Saint Laurent and Artignosc along some beautiful scenery up onto the hill tops towards Baudinard, a quaint village with a sort of traffic light, meant for the busy season and cars only (we think...)
Down again towards the river Verdon, left on a dirt road past the public swimming pool of Artignosc beautifully situated right on the banks of the slightly cool river even in summer, and then back up to Saint Laurent: the last stretch, all the way up to the plateau towards La Vudèle, is the real 'heart breaker' and makes me think of 'Heartbreak Hill' of the Boston Marathon, the last, very long stretch through Newton which seems to be never-ending even driving it, up to Boston College.
Once up on the plateau the view onto the nearby mountain range of Mont Denier, snow-capped and magnificent against the blue sky, my heart opens up and I take in the vast expanse of this place.
Alternatively there are shorter routes from La Vudèle to Esparron, Albiosc and back, about 45 minutes.
|winter scenery - vines|
Another favorite is the loop La Vudèle - Saint Laurent - towards Quinson - then back up the D11 (a smaller 'Heartbreak Hill') and back to La Vudèle. This also takes about 45 minutes and allows to take in the scenery ranging from lavender and vine fields through Mediterranean forest and olive groves.
Guests in our chambre d'hôtes can rent bicycles at Edith's hotel for € 8/day, either mountain bikes to explore the many trails, for example the TransVerdon which runs right behind La Vudèle, or leisure/all-terrain bikes.
Life in Provence in the winter:
la vie est belle!