posted on Saturday, October 02, 2004

Bedoin

Eventful day. A day on a bike gives time and the places you visit a totally different dimension. After the last look at the Alpilles on the way to St Remy I visited the 'clinique St Paul' the hospital where Van Gogh spent one of the last years of his life. Although the room he occupied is still part of the hospital another one has been reconstructed to reflect the original. Through the windows you can see some of the views that he painted while there as witnessed by some of his works. From St Remy to Castillon I took the main route D99 only a way to cut the road short but rather high on traffic and because a bit narrow, quite dangerous. The second beautiful sight was hard gained after the short but steep climb that takes to a terrace from where one has a great view of the village of Gordes perched on top of a hill. Surely the most characteristic village seen sofar. A few more Km uphill and after a short descent I caught the first glimpses of the Abbey of Senanque, much larger than I had imagined. Luck meant that a guided tour was about to start taking visitors to the heart of the monastery where currently 7 cistercian monks live. The place is magic and full of charme even though the lavander fields in front are not in flower at this time of the year. Left the Abbey I had a further steep climb to tackle. Idyllic views all around and after 30 minutes the long and entertaining descent to Mazan began. Mont Ventoux could now be seen in the distance, a ghostlike appearance, a giant in an otherwise flat land. I reached Bedouin at 19.00 found a campsite at the foot of the mountain that tomorrow I look forward to climb.