Ruminations on a folding bike – Final Day

Another grey day
Last night I used the excellent tram system to visit the city centre. Entering the first busy Bistro I encounteted, I enjoyed an excellent burger accompanied by a Barcelona craft beer. It occurred to me as strange that neither cutlery nor glass were provided; looking round I noticed that everybody was eating with their hands and fingers, and drinking straight from the bottle. I also realised that the entire clientele comprised “twenty-something trendies”. I was distinctly out of place! Oh well – try to carry it off with aplomb.
Back to today. I want to see the historic centre in the daylight. The landlady recommends that I take the bike on the tram; no way! I cycle in. It’s turns out to be well worth the visit.

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Surprise surprise, after pottering about for half an hour, it starts to rain. What to do?
Spend the day in Montpelliar? No – it’s not what I came for.
Return to the hills? No – too far, and not the weather.
I know – let’s head for the Med.
Full waterproofs on, I use my compass to navigate out of the city to the SE, and soon reach Lattes. Guess what? The rain stops. Dare I take the waterproofs off? To he’ll with it, yes!
My luck is obviously now in, because I soon stumble across a marked cycleway all the way to the sea.

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In what seems like no time, I’m there; here it is obviously- my first glimpse of the Mediterranean in all its glory!

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Underwhelmed? Just a tadge
But then, as I continue to the East, something amazing happens: the sun crimes out – and the Med turns blue.

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This particular spot, Le Grau-du-Roi, exudes plenty of character. I must say, however, that much of this part of the Mediterranean I find rather sad: it’s overdeveloped, often with indifferent architecture; it’s often quite charmless; and much of it lacks any beauty. However, what it does have plenty of, is sun, sand and sea. I grab a quick snack in an unpretentious bar.
Continuing on, I stop to chat to two Swiss cycle tourers studying a map. I discover that the woman hails from the same locality as my maternal grandfather, Gotlieb Lang. Also they have cycle all the way from Zurich, taking 18 day’s! Not bad.
Reaching Aigues-Mortes, the sun is now high in the sky. OMG! – it’s only 5 weeks to astronomical midsummer day. A depressing thought.
The fortified town is another gem

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Continuing eastward, I skirt the Carmague; and yes – I see both the pink flamingos and the “wild” horses. I must say, I find cycling this part of the Med rather disconcerting. The terrain, of course, is flat, but contains many landlocked lagoons separated by narrow isthmuses (or should that be isthmi?) These are often crossed only by busy dual carriageways with no regard for cyclists. Ironically, there is an excellent network of cycleways for tourists to potter. These are of little use if you are actually trying to get somewhere. Seriously disconnected.
It’s time to head back to the Airport. I aim to arrive by 7.00. Guess what? I enter the departure lounge and look at the clock. It reads ….. 7.01
It’s been an excellent and varied day – an excellent and varied trip.
But then, I always say that!

Some final thoughts.
The more that scientists uncover the secrets of the Universe, the more questions they uncover – the deep questions.
Q.  How did the Universe come into existence?
A.  The Big Bang
Yes, but ……..

Q.  What is life?
A.  An inter-connected combination of  organic chemicals.
Yes, but ………

Q.  Why did Home Sapiens evolve to becomes the dominant species on earth (actually , very suddenly, about 70,000 years ago)?
A.  Because of an unusually large brain, oppositional thumb, bipedal development, and the emergence of language
Yes, but …….,..

Etc. etc. etc.

Now, I’m aware that many of you may be unconcerned about these “yes buts”, but I’m afraid I’m not.
Scientists tend brush over these questions; perhaps rightly so because, they extend outside their domain. Don’t misunderstand me – I have huge admiration and respect for scientists, and the work they do. After all, I spent many years teaching it! However, there are boundaries beyond which they cannot go.

Many of you will know that I choose to believe in “God”, partly because of these questions left hanging in the air. Perhaps if I substitute the phrase “Spirit of the Universe”  this may be easier for some of you to relate to.
I’m aware, of course, that logically,I I’m just pushing the questions back. But, at least, they’re all pushed into one box!

Well, that will have to do for now.
Is the answer 42? Well that’s for you to decide

Thanks for your patience – I’ll be back next year

Distance travelled                58.8 miles
Average Speed                          8.6 mph       (a lot of pottering)
Elevation gain                                299 ft
Maximum speed                     19.9 mph

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