Day 6 : The oven and the lady with the nice melons
Today was the day, we had to cycle through 'the oven'. That was the name we had given to a valley two years ago. It is completely flat and back then it must have been close to 40 degrees. Fortunately we still had a while to go so we could prepare ourselves. The day started relatively easy, apart from some hills there were no real climbs. Unfortunately it was very hot again, which is why we stopped at a fruit stand. We bought a melon, peaches, and some water.
Then it started, the road to the oven. Before entering we had to climb over the edge of the valley. At the top it was time for lunch, while we were eating a couple drove by with the lady filming while hanging out of the window. She got out, walked around, and got back in the car. All without stopping filming. What's nice about filming your entire vacation and then realizing it was actually pretty nice when you are lying on your couch at home is a mystery to me. Strangely enough we saw three other people doing exactly the same thing during the rest of our vacation.
The oven valley
After lunch we descended towards the oven, it was less hot compared to last time but we still didn't want to end up without water. We cycled fast so we could leave it as soon as possible. Just when we crossed the hills on the other side we saw the Mont Ventoux again, fortunately we didn't had to climb it this year.
After climbing out of the oven
We saw the Mont Ventoux again
While cycling towards the Mont Ventoux we passed the restaurant where we weren't allowed to eat last time, because the kitchen was closed, even though we were super hungry. Fortunately we had then found our rescue: 'The lady with the nice melons'. That was an old lady that sold home grown melons, and because they were so good we stopped there again. They were only 50 cent a piece (those in the stand before the oven were 2,49) so we bought two. She gave us four small ones for free as well and allowed us to sit at a table in her backyard. After six days of cycling we would have paid those 50 cents just to sit in the chairs. Chairs are one of the things you appreciate more after cycling vacation, which is why you shouldn't bring one. While we were eating the melons I told Bart I thought the lady had the best melons ever, Bart said he knew someone who had even better ones.
Bart eating a melon
Sitting on a chair in the shade
After finishing the melons we continued. A while later we stopped to have a real dinner and saw a very pretty girl hitchhiking. I am not sure what's in the water in that area, but it was flooded with good looking cycling, cycling-vacation-ing, and hitchhiking girls that we never see anywhere else. When we passed her Bart gestured that she could jump on his luggage carrier, fortunately for her she didn't, but more on that later.
A while later we came across a campsite that wasn't shown on the map, but we decided to continue for a few more kilometers. That turned out to be one of the best decisions in the entire vacation. At our intended campsite a guy helped us find a spot and the couple next to us let us use their electricity, so we could charge our phones. The lady told the man 'shouldn't you question them for a bit', but we first wanted to take a shower. Afterwards the man told us he had also climbed the Mt. Ventoux and was trying to convince his future son in law to do the same things, but that wasn't really working. Later we had a drink at the campsite's terrace
We had been suffering for 6 days and had hardly spoken to anyone, now we sat down, clean and relatively well rested with a nice glass of beer. Then something happened that always happened in such moments during cycling vacation. The owners' daughter laughed at us in a way too friendly way (at least it seemed like that in our relaxed bliss). We both liked her a lot, but we were on cycling vacation so it wasn't meant to be. After drinking the beer extra slowly we went to sleep.
Just like two years ago we had reached the Mt. Ventoux in about 6 days, but this time we had cycled faster on average and made less detours. Because of that we were less tired, which was for the best as now we needed to cross the Alps, instead of taking a day off.
Distance cycled : 172 km