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After two days of travelling and one night’s sleep I woke in the morning much refreshed after a second nights rest and the ‘official’ start of the holiday.  We spent this morning getting organised for our stay here at ‘Marmotel’ at St Geniez d’Olt. (you need to go to ‘Camping’ and then select sejour Robinson to see our type of pitch)The list includes putting up the awning, getting out the chairs in case the sun appears, a walk to the Intermarche supermarket for supplies like bread and wine, essentials of French life.

In the afternoon I managed to find the Dauphine Libere race live on France 3 TV.  It was the Time Trial stage.  Bradley Wiggins finished second but he moved up from 3rd overall to take the overall leader’s yellow jersey so I will keep an eye on that until the race finishes next Sunday.

Suitably inspired I went out on my first bike ride of the holiday.  It had been about 4 days with no ride so I had no great expectations and found what I remembered to be a relatively ‘easy’ ride for the area as in any direction there are hills.  I hesitate to call them mountains as there are plenty of those around and still to come.  They are good climbs though by English standards.

It was just a short ride of around 20 miles starting from St Geniez and heading up through the town and a long climb up through the trees and round several hairpin pins until the top after about 6 miles.  Then came the descent not quite of 6 miles though.  This led out at the halfway point onto a main road which to my disappointment I found to be into a headwind and I was expecting the opposite.  So much for my sense of direction.  I ploughed on as I knew that there was a turning I could take that would take me out of the wind and a different way back home.

I found this turn at St Saturnin de Lenne but my second disappointment was that this led to another steady climb for about a mile, however the following descent into St Geniez was great. Loads of twisting and turning bends and hairpins all the way back as you will hopefully be able to see from the map detail.

Village of La Capelle Bonance seen on descent to St Geniez

So that was the first ride out of the way to be followed by another one on Thursday.  This will inevitably be higher, steeper and longer but all in the cause of improved fitness I hope as it is the plan to ride up Mont Ventoux if our route takes us within the vicinity.  Our plans are apt to change daily though it seems but that’s the nature of a touring holiday I guess.