Day 3 Bonjour France

Start point: Arenys D’Emporda, Spain

End point: Le Barcares, France

Miles: 56

Key words: gratitude, gatorade, gears, borders, France, downhill

We woke up early and had breakfast with our ship building hosts. By this time oatmeal with fresh fruit had become our favorite fast but filling breakfast so we indulged again. After breakfast we made our way downstairs to our mud covered bikes and grabbed the garden hose. It’s not every day you get to wash your bike in Spain.

Matthew was par for the course of looking at our bikes and assembled an ingenious bike suspension system  so our bikes were elevated and easy to be worked on. He got to work assessing our shifting issues and also expertly reviewed the dynamics of gear shifting for maximum effectiveness. It turned out both bikes needed minor adjustments to their barrel guards. How fortunate that it was a quick fix. Our bikes were road ready within minutes. Thank you Matthew!

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Matthew adjusting our gears like a boss

After multiple rounds of hugs exchanged we said our goodbyes to our gracious hosts and set off for parts unkown. Today was an exciting day. We would be cycling across the border to France.

As the day got hotter we made a grateful stop at a gas station for gatorade and chocolate. Breakfast of champions!

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Bita ready for the day

The road stretched out before us and began to climb. We knew that crossing the mountainous border between Spain and France would involve evelation changes and we braced ourselves for the ascent. But the intense climbing we imagined never materialized and before long the border of France was in sight. We unceremoniously pedaled into France (passport stamps are a rare occurance once you’re in the EU) and into the touristy border town of Perthus.

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1km to France

Once past the border an incredible downhill stretch lay before us and we flew down breathtaking curves for miles. We veered off our main route and into the picturesque town of Boulon for lunch at a cute restaurant with bright purple awnings and the award for the coolest toilet seat of the trip.

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And the award for the coolest toilet seat of the trip goes to…

We stopped in Perpignon for additional spare tubes (Bita and I carry 3 each) and took notice of the odd bike paths. These pseudo bike routes were narrow, faded and intermittently nonexistant. On the road motorists seemed crankier, gave usless space and we got some obnoxious honks and hollers. Fingers crossed this is a Perpignon aberration and not a prevew of the rest of our time in France.

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Not a bad view from my bicycle

The rest of our afternoon was cycling through beautiful countryside and vibrant vineyards. A mix up with our Airbnb host had us feeling homeless and considering spending the night on th beach, but in the end we settled into a small marine themed hotel in Le Barcares. We feasted on mussels and french fries for dinner and slept deeply.

Total miles so far: 155

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