Day 5 Day Off in Sète
Start point: Agde, France
End point: Sète, France
Key words: beach, hostel, bananas, art, Alex, maps
Although our plan for most scheduled days off is to stay off our bikes entirely, we decided to stay outside of Sète to reduce the previous days’ mileage and cycle into Sète the following morning. We were greeted with a beautiful stretch of beach, sprawling dunes, a wide bike path and scores of French men, women and children on bikes donning yellow shirts for some sort of cycling event. The sense of community was energizing!
Bita found a lady bug
I was looking forward to Sète because we would have the whole day to explore and refresh, but also because we would be staying in our first hostel of the trip. Not surprisingly some of Bita’s friend’s had cautioned her against it. “Have you seen the movie?!” was the same response I got from American friends when I first traveled to Europe ten years ago. Apparently this tacky but infamous horror film Hostel still clings to the subconscious like Jaws to uninformed swimmers. Bottom line, hostels are relaxed and cost effective lodging for travelers, not murder scenes!
Our scary hostel room
Exploring picturesque Sète
We had a light lunch in a sun dappled plaza, ran some errands, and ended up in a shop selling fresh fruit and produce. We chatted with the shop keeper for a while in rusty French and he drew us a map of his hometown in Morocco. We told him about our adventure and handed him our 1/2 kilo of peaches, 1/2 kilo of apricots and 2 bananas to ring up. He re-rang our total minus the bananas. They were a gift to give us strength for our journey, he conveyed.
It didn’t take much exploring to determine that the street art in Sète was my favorite thing about the city. Every where we turned there was a new mural to behold. We even watched one being created from our nap spot in the park.
Mural outside of a high school
Not a mural but still cool
Check out that detail
Later at our hostel we met our first touring cyclist of the trip. 20 year old Alex started cycling in Germany, and was exploring the Mediterranean coastline in the opposite direction. He was mostly camping and was intrigued when he saw our bikes parked at the hostel and my Bernie Sanders 2016 sticker displayed proudly. “I never thought I would meet two girls doing this.” He admitted. “And definitely not Americans!” I’m sure we were beaming with pride at our stereotype breaking abilities at this point. Alex was also our saving grace in that he showed us how to download offline sections of Google maps for use on the road. No more fumbling with map snapshots and a scitsofrenic phone. My ipad is now our GPS navigation device!
Total miles so far: 234