Down by the river

Here I am drinking my second bottle of wine on a little hill overlooking a vineyard and in the background the sun is setting over a mountain and the lights of the wind turbines are blinking on the top of the hills. “There cannot be any better way to live,” I say to Jason.

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I suppose this would be a good time to talk about stealth camping or in French (and sounding way cooler) camping sauvage. As of now I have spent a month on bicycle in Europe without losing a euro towards lodging and I guarantee the views we have had outdo any hostel bed the world has to offer. We have slept on hills over vineyards, on beaches, in abandoned hotels, and on the bank of the Rhone river (but also unfortunately once in a bog behind a sewage treatment plant, thank god for wine!)

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A good stealth spot only requires a few features:

1st- An inconvenience, just pass a nice thorn patch is perfect. No police officer is going to walk up and over a thorny hill in the night to run you off and

2nd- A nice view.

We found a good campsite nestled on the side of a mountain in a new growth forest then made a fire and decided the next day we would take a zero in the woods. I slept most of the day, woke up, read a book, ate some ravioli, slept some more, threw rocks at trees with Jason, got the fire going again, took turns winding the radio, listened to music till it got dark then read some more and slept. Not a bad life and it only cost me three cans of ravioli, a bottle of wine and four cigarettes.

 

Tonight we camped along the Rhone, a tan field of some kind of grain is behind us with a full moon rising over it and in front a sun setting over the river has triggered a nice shade of purple and orange to appear beneath the rising moon. The station on Jason’s radio is playing a Paul Simon marathon and for some reason cold cheap ravioli tastes incredible and even after 120 km my legs feel fine.

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Overlooking Marseilles

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Canal du Midi
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