Back in Fall 2013, my friend Amandine and I were looking for an unusual type of weekend activity, away from home and far from the turmoil of urban life. Our search criterias were “Nature” and “Exercise but not too hard”. We booked a half-day “lying-tricycle rental and auto-tour” in the region of Camargue Gardoise in the South of France. The concept of lying-tricycle is still pretty unique here, first of all because it is not built in series and therefore costs a little fortune, and second of all very few people know or therefore talk about it. Renting such a machine was a great deal for our first trial though, and the experience was great!
Auto-tour means that we were riding with touristic information and a map on hand, but without an actual tour guide. We chose the half-day tour (about 3,5 hours) starting from the village of Vauvert and went in and around other villages of the area.
The tricycle happens to be very comfortable and easy to drive, regardless of the amount of effort you need to provide from time to time during the 3,5 hours ride. The region of Camargue Gardoise has arranged paths, roads, dedicated lanes and special trails for bi or tricycles to ride safely. Therefore, most of areas are flat or slightly descending, and only on rare occasions the riders must press a little bit harder on the pedals to go up the road for a short duration of time.
The overall ride was a lot of fun and gave us a chance to learn a bit more about the local history as we rode on stone bridges that used to be crossed to facilitate commerce in past centuries. We cycled under city and citadel ancient entry doors, and around old Watch Towers.
We rode around apples and peaches orchards. Further away, there were vineyards and we came across lots of wineries. At a certain point, we arrived in a more remote area where local ancient castles and manors have been rehabilitated into more wineries or goat cheese refineries. It was a pity that it was Sunday during a Holiday weekend, as most of places were only opened upon special arrangements made prior to the weekend, which we hadn’t made, sadly.
Camargue region is famous for its landscapes, but not only. The main edible specialties are the salt and the brown rice. As per living animals, the bulls and horses are famous for their racing abilities and the shows (that are organized to display their talents) throughout Spring and Summer every year. On our way, we saw quite a few beasts quietly resting in meadows.
In this whole area, the nature was simple yet very nice, and gave us a very restful feeling. The afternoon and the night before that great fun day, we visited and stayed in the ancient castletown of Aigues-Mortes. Our hotel was near the canal, which was nice to stroll along.
We visited the castletown in this atmosphere that I love so much in French villages where everywhere you walk about there are art galleries, chocolate and candy stores, little cafés terraces, and fun sculptures of local stuffs to remind you in what region you are in France (here, the Camarguais bull). And before going to bed, we got a nice dinner, keeping in mind we would use up the energy and calories on the second day while biking (we had meat that we cooked by ourselves on a hot stone at our very table).
A wonderful and unique weekend!!
Before you go, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.