- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 56 Toulon to Saint Raphaël, France
130 kilometers on the road and 750m of vertical climbing today!
A wonderful cycling day today. Gravel tracks along an old train line and cycle tracks along the shore and into the forest. Just the best kind of day!
Crazybikeguy left Toulon at 7.45am and set out along the coast in a north easterly direction, inland alongside a main road for 20 km winding in and out of the suburbs. Even though the main road ran alongside the track for most of the time he felt protected from the traffic and the noise for most of the time.
Aside from the gorgeous natural vegetation along the way Grant also cycled through a huge wetland area which gave him the opportunity to enjoy the bird life and the changing fauna and flora along this part of the route.
The track was great and Grant had a brief stop for his usual pastry and coffee in a beautiful harbor town and continued along the water's edge, eventually making his way slowly inland to la Croix Valmer along a mapped route, only to discover much further along that the path came to a dead end - it looked like it had been swallowed up by a private land owner for a housing development, so some back tracking was required at this point!
Onto a steep mountain road heading up into the mountains Grant went. Along this winding path a man on a Vespa scooter came whizzing past Grant and as he turned the corner he lost control of the scooter and went flying with his scooter over the edge - down the steep embankment.
Luckily for the poor guy he got caught in some fence wire some of the way down and was knocked out while his scooter lay in a mangled heap upside down further down, spluttering away.
Grant got off his bike and managed to get down the embankment and turned the scooter off for fear of it setting the mountainside and it's rider alight! He came back to the young man and hauled him up onto the road. He was dazed and very confused and his arm was very obviously broken. He lay down on the road and then Crazybikeguy flagged down a car with an elderly couple in it and they called the for help.
He then had to wait to give a witness' account of what happened and set off on his way once again.
When I spoke with Grant after this had happened, even though he sounded ok I could hear in his voice that this had really shaken him up and he was so grateful that nothing worse had happened to the poor scooter driver and that help came relatively soon.
Cycling on through Gigaro and making his way further along an inland cycling path, he reached Ramatouelle on a gravel track alongside the main road varying in density and smoothness but not unpleasant to travel on. He decided to press on to St Tropez making his way back onto the Cote D'Azur and back to the amazingly scenic and famous coastal road doing a spin around the harbor and joining the road around the bay to St Maxime.
It was getting late and Grant decided to eventually stop and spend the night at St Raphaël, a beautiful commune just across the way from the town of Frejus.
Luckily for Grant, there was an Italian market on the pier with the most amazing produce and goodies and this gave him the opportunity to have a sun downer there and enjoy the coastal vibe before walking around the beautiful city, having some dinner and retiring for the night to rest.
A cloudless perfect day on the French Riviera.What more could a guy ask for?
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