It has been a challenge to get used to >30°C, but with a bit of surfing here and a bit of siesta there, it was not that bad. In fact, summer temperatures start at 28°C only, so I have been more than happy in my first holiday week.
However, this is about to change now. The sky hangs low and the quantity of sunscreen usage decreases significantly. Sounds like perfect conditions for bike tours and city hopping!
The tricky part on the highly frequented 100km pistes cyclables on Île de Ré is the mass of users. Unsporty tourists hop on e-bike-monsters without any routine in cycling, leading to a significant number of bike accidents throughout summer season. Now with the drop in temperatures, quite some tourists departed, leaving the cycling paths for the tough ones only – lucky me!
My dear “Prince Harry” = a decent Brompton bike takes me wherever I want, with not so much of an effort. Today, it is Saint-Martin-de-Ré with its church that presents ancient stones half-demolished, half-rebuilt.
The fortress-like village comes with the typical local charm, topped by a small yacht harbor that may or may not imitate St. Tropez. Similar to the Côte d’Azur hotspot, an endless row of cafés and restaurants frames the pier. Fortunately, it differs in pricing and quality. I settle down for a solid English breakfast with eggs, bacon, potatoes and sausages and enjoy perfect service in relaxed atmosphere and a very fair amount on the bill.
St. Martin has been designed as fortification by Vauban, including a contorted harbor, a nice “vielle ville” and a calm park with meadows, trees and a cute lighthouse on the shore. Once you accomplish it with a white-sanded beach, you could sell it as the perfect image of a touristic place-to-be.
All in all, it is a nice mixture with vivid life and worth a visit.
After some rain during morning hours, the day develops more and more towards a veritable summer’s evening. Perfect setting for a nice sit-in with the neighbours next-door (next-van) and for another ukulele beach concert. I resume that bad weather around here is bearable, as long as it comes with sun and gentle 24°C.