Friday, April 24, 2009

Carcasonne to Nimes

I didn't have a good nights sleep worrying about home, elections, work, security and somehow things seem more ominous at 03:00 than they do once the sun is up. So today I felt a little bit sleep deprived for most of the day.

Posted some more blog at the monumentally slow internet connection available. Very frustrating, it took about 20 minutes to upload about 800k of photographs but we managed it and managed to download email and Caron did some banking so although very slow, at least we could do it.

Instead of taking the scenic route we decided to take the easy road and pay the tolls which work out at about 10EUR per 100km. In South Africa that would equate to about R750 to drive down to Durban from Johannesburg so as expensive as the tolls in South Africa may seem, they're really very cheap!

We crossed the canal du midi several times during the morning and it is quite an impressive canal which is still in use after having been built in the late 16 hundreds so it is over 300 years old.

During the trip we stopped at one of the 'services' which is the french equivalent of a one-stop but the french ones not really up to the standard of the south african ones. I ordered a 'cafe noir grande' and was surprised to get it in two cups so in effect a 'cafe noir grande' is a double expresso but served in two cups.

We arrived at the campsite without any incidents and since it was relatively early I went for a 1:30 ride. I set off in the direction of pont du gard not expecting to actually get there but it turned out to be really close so I carried on. We're going to see pont du gard tomorrow or the next day so I'll write about it then.

The attitude of motorists to cyclists here is the complete antithesis of south africa. The roads are narrower here, there are more cyclists and they don't exactly stay in single file but the french just cope with it better. So the conclusion is that it isn't actually the cyclists issue, they pretty much do as they please here; the problem lies with agressive south african driving habits. The french also cater for cyclist much more with cycle paths and such but where they aren't available, the motorists just accept that cyclists have as much right to the road as they do and cope with it and if the french can cope with it, anybody can.

The rest of the day we read, made supper and relaxed a bit. I think that we are finally starting to unwind.

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