The Road to Ventoux - Part 25
Day 1: It’s enormous!!
The Ventoux3 challenge is raising money for the Out of the Blues charity at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/outoftheblues.
D-day! It was an early start, getting up at 3:15am and leaving the house by 4am for the airport. The bike box took up most of the cargo space in my car even with the back seats down. Fortunately we did not have too much other luggage.
The airport was as busy as I have ever seen it, pre-or post-pandemic. Met my daughter, Ailidh, and her partner, Adam. They were on a different flight spending a couple of days at Disney Land Paris before heading to Provance. Unfortunately, they had to negotiate a massive que for check-in, and then an even bigger one to get through security. They only just made their flight. We however, thanks to the gold card I had earned pre-pandemic managed to get checked-in, dropped my bike off at the over-sized baggage counter, whizzed through security into the lounge to have some early/first breakfast with time to spare.
Arrived in London and only then realised the flight to Marseille was from terminal 3, so that used up 40 odd minutes of time in the first class lounge ☹. However, had a nice late/second breakfast of Greek yogurt and granola and then American pancakes, bacon and maple syrup. The flight to Marseille was heaving. We also left about 45 mins late. When we arrived, we then had to wait a further 45 mins plus for the baggage to be got off the plane – because it was a BA flight and we are no longer in the EU???? This all meant we had to contact the lady letting us into the house we were renting to re-arrange the time of our arrival.
Managed to get the rental car OK and put everything in, having taken bike out of its box. During the planning of the trip it became evident that Ailidh and Adam would make there own way to Bedoin on the 1st June. However, they were flying back to the UK on the 5th at a similar time to us, but again on a different flight. The issue was that while I had hired a car big enough to hold my bike in its box, plus my wife Alison’s luggage plus mine, this was dependent on putting the back seat down. Hence not enough room to be able to get Ailidh and Adam into the car to get them to Marseille airport. After making various enquires, I found a left luggage place at the airport that could store my box. Expensive, but not as much as a taxi from Bedoin to the Airport. So after filling the car with bike and luggage, I trundled off with the box to find left luggage. This turned out to be one man manning a bag wrapping machine, who spoke no English and tried to serve three lots of people simultaneously. In between wrapping bags and sorting out various issues, he gave me a receipt for my box and was immediately dealing with other customers. I left the terminal with the box effectively sitting in the middle of the concourse, keeping everything crossed that it will be there for me when we return on the 5th.
The drive to Bedoin was uneventful. The weather was sunny intervals with a temperature between 20 and 25C. From quite a way out, Mont Ventoux dominated the view. It was hard to keep my eyes on the road at times rather than staring at it with frank horror. On reaching Bedoin and eventually finding the rental house (which is lovely), got a good view of the mountain. It is enormous. What on earth have I taken on????
Went out for a pizza and then an early night.
Further information about the challenge, and my blogs about my training, can be found at http://outoftheblues.org/news/cat/the-road-to-ventoux.