Anduze, Mar/Apr '12

The first real part of our trip to discover the South of France, Chez Wills in Anduze became our home for 6 weeks.

Firstly, what a beautiful little gite this is - everything one could need. A nice walking route and so many amazing cycle friendly roads at the doorstep.

We mostly spent this time relaxing and enjoying the sun when it shone by eating outside and enjoying the wonderful views from the patio. Not only of the surrounding hills, but also the garden meticulously maintained by our host with a varied selection of lawns, orchard, flowering plants and trees.

It has to be said that March and April can still be a chilly time in this area though, but the temperature never stopped us from cycling or doing other things when we liked.

The gite was so nice thought, those 'other things' (cycling aside) didn't happen that often. However, the highlight of any trip to this region must be a hike around Gorge de la Jonte (Corniches du Causse Méjean I believe the route is called) - absolutely stunning. A trip to pretty little town of Nîmes is also highly recommended.

I'm sure our host wouldn't mind it being mentioned, that we also had an insight into how various practicalities work here in France, after all - that was part of the idea of the trip. Let's just say we now have a first hand experience of the interesting ways utilities are provided here! wink

11:00

Views from the drive from Alpe d'Huez to Anduze. The scenic route, via the D526 & Suze-la-Rousse. Nice smile

18:19

European hypermarkets: welcome to the promised land (of #Leffe) grin tongue

09:48

The bike assembly area at our gite in Anduze wink Now, time for a little shakedown ride in the spring sunshine smile

14:48

'Le Gardon de Mialet' (aka the river) from this morning's ride. Plenty of other scenery but only made a single stop.

19:01

Random views from the roads (there's 2 routes to choose) between Anduze & Mende.

12:07

Pratiwi out on a leisurely ride somewhere around Anduze. Another tranquil day in the South of France smile

12:14

Post trundle lunch. Pratiwi's home made Ratatouille and a 4€ bottle of white in the sun. Ahhhh smile

12:33

Beautiful ride today. After a week here passed my 1st Col sign. Many more impressive ones to come I hope! smile

08:27

The view literally from our doorstep. All one can hear is the soft singing of birds and gentle trickle of a stream smile

11:30

Butterfly shots from the Gite garden. The weather isn't even really warm yet, wonder what will appear when it is? smile

10:45

Somewhere on the D133 West of Anduze. Nice ride in either direction. Hope you can tell the road gently winds away smile

16:00

Bees being busy in the orchard by our Gite.

16:15

Blossom in the gite's orchard, early evening. Beautiful place to be.

15:51

Hmmmmmmmmm... Cookies grin Pratiwi is so happy with her home made baking. Yeah, I won't complain either wink

09:55

A couple of lizards appear to live under the stairs by the front door. They don't mind getting a close up either!

12:27

Today's cycling shot: Pratiwi overlooking the river just outside Mialet. She quite liked it here smile

09:05

Cleanest carpark I've ever seen: Jean Jaures in Nîmes. Cheap. Secure (need ticket to get back in). Uncrowded. Handy!

09:20

Jardins de la Fontaine‎, Nîmes. Like the little canals. Tour Magne outside & inside stairs recently added, in 1843 wink

10:25

Maison Carrée, Nîmes. Pretty impressive from the outside but sadly only had a dodgy tourist movie showing inside sad

10:40

Nîmes has many nice squares. Here's a couple: Place de l’Horloge & outside the rather understated cathedral.

10:50

Inside Nîmes Cathedral: a random local shared a tip to look at the back where the more colourful spaces were. Lucky!

11:40

Lunch in one of the many lovely little squares you find in Nîmes. That you find all over Europe for that matter smile

17:30

Simple home made dinner of leak, onion & chicken soup with garlic bread. Yuuuuum tongue

11:21

This morning's ride to Col de Saint-Pierre. Beautiful smooth road. Tiny smash fest back home via Mialet felt good smile

13:06

Another beautiful ride up a cat 2 climb, then very technical descent and smash along this valley home. Perfect! smile

15:26

We took a little walk from the gite up to Chateau de Tornac today. Nice views but the chateau has seen better days wink

11:45

An afternoon jaunt to Mont Aigoual. That building is a weather station that's open to visitors. Not right now though.

13:40

Stopped by the small village of Valleraugue. Very nice, but the river running through was the pick of the views.

15:30

Afternoon snacks... in a kindof arty way. Not quite the look I was after but tasted good all the same wink

12:20

Hmmmmm... guess what this is going to be! tongue

10:10

A walk to Lacan from our doorstep. Anduze, our Gite & attached owners home (seen in the garden!) from the summit.

15:00

Rainy day in the Gite.

11:00

The Wisteria vine on our host's porch in beautiful bloom. The loud humming of bees it attracts is somehow soothing smile

07:20

The village of Le Truel tucked on the side of Gorge de la Jonte, and the river just down the road in Le Rozier.

08:40

Setting out on a hike from Le Rozier, the small village seen below. Trail hugs a cliff edge through beautiful forest.

09:40

Pratiwi is the pink dot on the left here. Not being extra brave - just that's where the path was. Absolutely amazing!

09:50

Many climbers here on the cliffs. Close enough to chat to some. Look hard for climber having lunch centre 2nd image.

09:55

This boulder didn't seem to have been here long. Righto... move along quickly! wink

10:00

Many, many more stunning views all along the way. To Cassagnes, overlooking Gorge du Tarn and back to Le Rozier.

13:00

This was our lunch spot. Overlooking the Gorge du Tarn we ate bread & cold meats, pan au chocolat & biscuits. Yum tongue

14:50

Overlooking Gorge du Tarn. Le Point Sublime. Yes, quite!

14:10

Second col on today's ride. Sunny, but nippy. In fact this is Plan B as was snowing on Plan A route! Still v. nice smile

13:33

What's better than a great morning's ride? Coming home to find someone has cooked a delicious meatloaf for lunch! tongue

07:30

As we're now packed can share a look inside the (now tidy wink) gite. Not too shabby, huh? Home away from home smile

08:45

Travelling light... travelling light wink Leaving Anduze for Faucon.

09:20

Time for a short farewell walk around Anduze before heading off. Doesn't take long either - it's a tiny place!

10:55

Uzes & it's market on a Saturday. The tiny streets & walkways packed. We picked up some spices & local jams. Yum tongue

11:50

Lunch in Uzès. Pratiwi tucking into her steak tartare. Nice as it was, think I'll stick to my pizza thanks! wink

12:30

Uzès Cathedral, outside & in. This tower (medieval & the only original part they say) is unique in France apparently.

13:30

Visiting the Pont du Gard. Consider this had been here for 2000 years & look at the people for scale. Just amazing!!

07:19

The cycling I managed around Anduze. All these roads well maintained & many traffic free. Lots of hills. Love it! smile