I was going to provide lavender photos, and there are too many pretty pictures of the French coastline on the way, so I am going to break this one up. This post contains images along the Mediterranean Sea from Perpignan, France to the Rhône River, and a few north as I head to Carpentras to refuel. The lavender will come next.
As mentioned in the last post, the wind the day before was screaming, so I ran off to the Spanish desert instead. On this day, it went from “screaming” to, I don’t know, something like “maximum an idiot would fly in,” though it meant the air was quite clear. Both the Tramontane and Mistral winds were raging, which are funnels between the Massif Central and either the Pyrenees (Tramontane) and Alps (Mistral), making for an incredibly rapid weather transition zone in the South of France, dry air, and just plain angry wind.
Fortunately, the wind has a bit of a shadow, sometimes, in between the two events. Therefore, I chose fueling stops near Montpellier and east of Avignon, out of the line of fire. Wind during flight can be disconcerting, though it’s the landing that really matters. I did break my record for slowest groundspeed in the Cub: 37 knots at cruise power, which means I was hitting a 30kt to 35kt headwind for a period of time along the Rhône River, though it was oddly free of turbulence.
La Perche Pass, France. Ground elevation roughly 5,000 feet.
Leucate, north of Perpignan.
Marshes and salt ponds, infrared.
And in color….
Windsurfers in action. I was barely passing the guy on the right due to how hard the wind was blowing.
Note how hard the wind is blowing from shore to sea. The ripples are quite strong for such a short fetch.
For some enigmatic reason, the wind was creating lift, and I was under a military no-fly zone at 800 feet, so I head to power back to only 1800RPM to not go up any higher.
Pervert in a Piper Cub? No naked French people here, though I doubt the lady with exposed cleavage and large breasts (left, center) anticipated anyone directly overhead….
Here I go invading privacy again, though no nudity. There is a lady reclining in the bow of the boat, again probably not anticipating an airplane when arranging beachwear.
I don’t know enough about the French to understand their proclivity for strange architectural experiments.
A markedly different way to memorialize the deceased. Sète again.
Frontignan, in an almost horrifying juxtaposition to visible spectrum.
Carnon Plage, Aéroport de Montpellier Méditerranée in the back left.
Etang d’Or, final approach to fuel stop in Candillargue.
Salt ponds, Camargue Delta.
Plage de Beauduc
Reminds me of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, except for the ocean color.
Self-evident statement: lighthouse.
Rhône River, at 40 miles per hour. Note the ripples indicating wind.
Chateau, south of Paradou. No name on Google Maps, so it must be private.
Massif des Alpilles. It was rather….warm.
Durance River. Color is authentic, not doctored. I believe it comes from rock silt off the alps, as the Rhône looked similar in Grenoble a year prior. Avignon airport in the background.