Last post I
confessed declared that I was a Tour Tragic. I get engrossed in it. But, because time differences means the coverage in Australia doesn’t start until 10 PM, I have to ration the number of nights I stay up for the whole thing.
Last Sunday was going to be a special night. It was Bastille Day, 14th July, and the Tour was ending up on Mt. Ventoux. And it was going to go through the lovely little village of Bedoin. I was so excited. Let’s go on a quick detour to explain why.
In 2010 I was lucky enough to spend 4 weeks in France, and 2 of them were in Bedoin. It is a little town at the foot of the giant Mt Ventoux, loved by cyclists. There are towns in the area that are more beautiful, but Bedoin has charm. There is the weekly market that starts in the square and spills out into the main street. There are the cafes, where of course you sit outside and soak up the sun and the atmosphere. There is a boulangerie. Every morning someone would walk there, try out their halting French (or in my case point and hold up fingers!) and return with our delicious fresh breakfast.
It was the season of cherries, sunflowers and lavender. It was just as ‘living’ in a French village should have been.
So, when I heard that the Tour was going through Bedoin I was excited. I wanted to glimpse the places that became so familiar. And yes, I wanted to be able to brag “That’s where….and off that road….and look there is…”
Sunday night was also the last night of the Ashes cricket test, Australia versus England. My Fella and I negotiated over the remote control — Tour/Ashes/Tour/Ashes. All went well until the race was a couple of kilometres from Bedoin. “No, we can’t change now!” I said. “We are almost there. Just a few more ks!” (Australia had around 20 runs to win, and one wicket in hand.) The race came up to the round-a-bout into the village, my expectation levels were high…….when SBS WENT TO AN AD BREAK!!!!!!
I missed Bedoin and we missed the last, controversial wicket in the Ashes (Australia lost by 14 runs).
So I am going to post my own pictures of Bedoin. I am going to take the chance to point out the sights to you, because I couldn’t point them out to the Fella on Sunday night! Let me brag just a little. (To be honest, I am not sure how much I would have seen any way, as apparently there were thousands of people thronging the road in Bedoin.)
The little village of Bedoin as we would see it walking to get the fresh bread each morning.
This little street winds from the main street up to the church on the hill.
Here’s the church, taken from across the square. And look, there’s the boulangerie under the pollarded plane trees. And the newsagent, which had the only internet access. (I didn’t realise ’till then that a French keyboard was different. So many typos in every email!)
There were two cafes opposite each other. We could never decide which one we preferred, so we alternated. Imagine how busy they would have been on Sunday! Just around the corner is the ATM.
The peleton would have raced up this road, and wheeled around the round-a-bout, heading out and up onto the mountain.
Bedoin in the twilight.
Thanks for indulging me! Cheers.