After a drive-free day with my family in Avignon, my wife and I get up bright and early. This will allow us to drive a portion of today’s trip in relatively acceptable temperatures.
Speaking of which – I’ve charged the TWIKE’s batteries very slowly – even with this the batteries haven’t been able to cool off completely. 8°C difference to the outside temperature remain. 32°C is a perfect temperature to drive and get the most out of our pack.
The roads are empty and the cool breeze makes for perfect TWIKEing. Today, we’re going to drive slightly more than 300 km and will potentially meet up for a quick meet-and-greet with a long-time reader of this blog in Vias, on the coast.
A good hour into our drive, we decide to stop for some of the irresistible buttery French croissants, a Cafè au Lait and some freshly pressed orange juice. Yum.
With our energy levels at maximum, we’re ready for a longstanding TWIKE tradition – the TWIKE team pic for the day.
We’ve decided to first drive southwards towards the salt marches of the Camargue around Aigues Mortes where the famous pink Sel de Fleur salts come from.
Until there, we will have to endure some very flat landscapes devoid of any features that would help us navigate or gauge our progress.
At least the road surface is near to perfect – thanks to the European Union
Arriving in Aigues Mortes, we decide to visit the quaint medieval walled town.
This turned out to be a very good idea – virtually no tourists were to be seen. Since it was still quite early, most of the tourist shops were still closed and the locals were either enjoying their first coffee of the day or walking their dogs.
We got ourselves a coffee at a cute little French Café on the main square and watched life go by for a while before setting off back onto the road towards Perpignan.
Driving along the salt marches is serene and beautiful, especially with all the flamingos matching the color of the marches.
Stopping at one of the petrol stations en-route to buy some water as the temperatures had risen sharply and were above 30°C, I saw this sign advertising a €0.18 ‘support by the French state’ towards lowering fuel prices.
I asked the attendant if this had any impact at all and was surprised by the reaction. Essentially the guy started ranting about the government taking over €1 a litre as fuel tax and then ‘giving’ €0.18 back to the people. He asked me if I knew the Gilets Jaunes movement and asked rhetorically if I’ve seen them lately.
They were out not long ago to protest that €1.50 fuel was unsustainable and was killing their livelihoods…where were they? They were fighting for survival and could no longer travel to the protests anymore, let alone stay overnight in an other city, for that matter!
Wow – given that I did not see any change in traffic volume during the last 3 days in France, I thought this to be a very harsh version of what is truly going on in France. Anyone with qualified insights: please leave your view in the comments below!
We eventually arrived at the first real beach en-route and decided to take another break in order to dip our toes into the water for a minute or two. This is the very same beach I took a break last time I was driving to Spain with my TWIKE in 2019.
Later on, we arrived in the seaside town of Sète – a beautiful gem of a town in southern France. I visited Sète the first time in 1991 and have been a fan ever since.
We decide to stop again – this time for a tapas-style snack with some seafood, cheese and cold cuts.
An hour later we arrive in Vias and spend some time with Pat and his family at the beach.
From there, we’ve got just another 2 hours until we arrive in Perpignan. The road surface stays perfect…but this doesn’t mean the distance gets any shorter. Temperature-wise we’re at 33°C and the humidity doesn’t help either.
We arrive late afternoon after 313km. Our kids have already checked-in and bought us some drinks to welcome us with on the large penthouse balcony of our rooftop apartment.
Our apartment has a parking spot that comes with it but no plugs anywhere close to charge from.
This is where I then started the usual process of finding a solution to charge anyway -> creative charging solutions!
We shower and freshen-up whilst our kids go shopping. (This is payback time for us parents – having kids with drivers’ licenses really helps) We then sit on the balcony and map out what we will want to do in Perpignan the next day – again a drive-free day for the TWIKE. We will be meeting some friends nearby after some exploring of the town itself.
Good bye – leave comments – thanks for reading!
|Distance total km
|Energy Total Wh
|Cost Total CHF
|included in price of stay
|included in price of stay