The last evening
A swim at sunrise is always the best, if you can get up in time. The sea seems incredibly fresh, completely new, the water as calm as a lake, just a slight swell that brings occasional wavelets on the shingle with a soft kissing sound; the sea is still sleeping, breathing calmly. The water feels warm, a little heavy in its fluidity, but the Mediterranean is packed with salt. & at sunrise and for about five minutes, the low sun brings the surface of the water alight with colour. You swim immersed in colour.
Then it's a 15-minute walk along the beach for a cup of coffee, and all the way back in fresh bright light. The bicycle is folded, the tent and sleeping bag thrown into a holdall, and a seat on the TGV claimed as the northward journey unfolds. Mte Ste. Victoire, then the towers of Avignon fall away into the past. No more sunrise swims this year. Nine hours later, it's a chilly London evening, after a few weeks wearing little more than shorts and a tee-shirt. Tango, but no more ripe peaches.