Leaving the camp site at which I enjoyed a birthday party the night before, the goal was Avignon. To get there I had to cross the Cevennes. I took various different roads heading east, of which two I want to mention and remember. The D901, from Badaroux to Le Vans. Fantastic road quality, a rare occasion in France, and the topology of the road is just amazing to play with your throttle and test leaning angles. A lot of locals think the same so going fast on that road requires some attention. The French seem to like to drive on your lane, meaning they cut the curves even worse than Sardegnenes. And the second: Gorges de Lardeche. A breathtaking canyon with the famous Pont d’Arch at the entrance. It was too hot, there was way too many people and cars and I was too tired to stop for pictures; sorry for that. At 40C stopping the bike for a pic means you start sweating almost immediately.
Reaching Avignon completely exhausted due to the heavy traffic in the suburbs I was close to simply collapse right there on the road. Yet rhe sight of the old rown made up for it. I parked my bike at the entrance of a Hotel garag, to tired to care about a possible ticket and took a little walk to look for a Hotel realizing there is a huge Arts festival going on. All kind of artists, musicians, clowns, actors doing their show on the streets. Lovely. The room rates per night ranged between 200 – 600 E. Well then, camping again. Luckily there was a camp site within walking distance to the old town. Camp site Bagatelle, which I do not redommend. Simply disgusting. After enjoying all the crazy artists, a Hamburger, a Hang concert and a few beers I slept surprisingly well.
Leaving Avignon for the Hautes Alpes I soon realized on one of the mountain passes how tired I am. I did about 7000 km so far and I start to feel every single one of them, particularly as soon as the riding conditions get demanding. And the Hautes Alpes are certainly amongst the most demanding. But even more demanding are cities that never seem to end. You just get from one village to the next one in heavy traffic and multiple red lights. It finally did clear out and I had some food riding through the Provence accompanied by the smell of lavendar.
Too tired to stop for pictures I passed this astonishing mountain lake, Lac de Serre Poncon. The water color is tourquoise, white-grey rocks at the shores. Beautiful. I reached Briancon, a town that I want to call Fortress Town. The sight of these fortresses within the steep mountains is frightening. During dinner with a swiss biker we discussed possible routes through switzerland and for the first time in weeks I feel cold. I am back in the high alps.