Enfin, le Pont du Gard!


If you’ve been reading these posts you have too much time on your hands! And if you have too much time on your hands and have been reading these posts, then you know I tried, and failed, to get to Pont du Gard a couple weeks ago. Well last Sunday I did the sane thing and took the train up to Nimes and started my ride from the station, a mere 30 kms or so from the ‘pont’. So, I rode out of Nimes… rimg00141 And into a military reserve… rimg0016 I see the tank is not very visible. Well it’s the best I could do with my little zoom, and one of the fews jokes I had planned for this post, so it stays. North of Nimes is a little mountain range, which wouldn’t have been so trying, but for the killer wind that insisted on going against me yet again. As I struggled up (and down!) the range, gaggles of spandexed weekend warriors shot by me on their way back to Nimes, some even taking the time to give a nod of the helmet to a wind-battered comrade. At least I knew there were others out on this road, albeit going the ‘right’ direction. The road careens down a ravine on the north side of the hills and the plains abruptly start again after the Pont St. Nicolas, a medieval bridge Shoko and I crossed in 2001, on our first cycling trip through France.  rimg0020 rimg0022 After this it was mostly flat, but still windy, even though I had changed directions (someone will have to explain this to me someday!). I made it to the Pont du Gard an hour or so later, and stayed there just long enough to snap these pics and find a sunny, protected place to stop the shivering.  rimg0032 rimg0035 rimg0038 rimg0040 rimg00391 Yes, that was a bunch of aqueduct pictures, I know. And if you missed (or have forgotten) grade 9 history, Pont du Gard is a nearly two thousand year old Roman aqueduct that brought water from a spring near Uzes, down to Nimes, the main city in the area, some 30 kilometers or so. They say it is an amazing feat of engineering, and I’ll just have to believe ‘them’, but I can assure you it is a sight to see. I’ve been there 3 times now and still get a bit woozy. Get there early to beat the busloads of Chinese tourists!

Then it was all downwind (yes, really!) back to Nimes, where I missed my train, took a spin around the equally old and impressive colosseum, and tried in vain to find a warm spot in the sun, before catching a TGV that allowed bikes back home to Montpellier. rimg0041

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