Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence

Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence

Explore the best Provence has to offer, including culinary highlights that make for a splendid Mediterranean feast of Côtes-de-Rhône wines, exquisite olive oil from a local olive press and more Roman ruins than you will find even in Italy. France's small country roads will lead you to discover the secrets behind the local artisans savoir-faire. You'll also visit the places where Van Gogh painted a majority of his most well-known paintings. For those of you who enjoy architecture, this trip gives you a superb view of both medieval and Roman masterpieces such as the theater and arena in Arles, the impressive Pont du Gard, and the medieval jewel of Uzès. To top it all off the final portion of the trip includes the small hilltop villages in the Luberon valley that made Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence" an international best-seller. This itinerary starts out at a more relaxed pace with numerous two-night stays, then finishes with flexible days where both short and long rides are possible. It is a great bike tour for friends or couples where one partner likes to ride more than the other.

***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full 11 days, check out our Bicycling the Best of Provence tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.***

Tour Dates & Prices

Private Room Fee
May 5-15, 2023
Jun 2-12, 2023
Sep 29-Oct 9, 2023

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

** For information about what your tour status means please see our FAQ page.

Tour Style: Classic Hold A Space Request Private Departure Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Total Distance / 520 km (321 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 58 km (36 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 2.5 Classic
  • Countries / France
  • Begin/End / Arles / Group transfer to Aix-en-Provence
  • Price / From USD$5395
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Luberon villages, Saint Rémy, Special dinner at a local chef's home, Pont du Gard, Châteauneuf du Pape, Olive mill visit, Informative wine tasting, Arles, The best of Roman Provence, Sénanque Abbey, Uzès, Van Gogh country, Côtes du Rhones wine villages, Mont Ventoux
  • Includes
    11 days, 10 nights' accommodation; meals as noted in itinerary; special visits listed in the itinerary; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)
  • Overall Tour Level
    2.5 difficulty level 2.5
  • Daily Ride Summary




    Day Level


    Test ride
    32km / 234m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    Longer optional ride available
    50km / 539m
    difficulty level 3.0
    63km / 476m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    42km / 506m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    68km / 722m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    53km / 854m
    difficulty level 3.5
    Longer optional ride available
    63km / 916m
    difficulty level 4.0
    56km / 900m
    difficulty level 3.5
    64km / 860m
    difficulty level 3.5
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrive in Arles

Highlights: Roman monuments of Arles, gourmet dinner with a local chef

Meet today at our hotel in Arles on the banks of the Rhône River. The Romans bridged the Rhône here during the 1st Century B.C., and today the city has a well-preserved Roman theater and arena. The latter is still used for Provençal bullfights. We will get our bikes fitted and enjoy a short test ride before a special introductory meal together in a local chef's home.

DAY 2: Bicycle to St Rémy

Highlights: Market in Arles or Saint Paul de Mausole, charming St Rémy

This morning Arles puts on one of the largest outdoor markets in France. You'll have plenty of time to check it all out before taking a short but scenic ride to St Rémy. This afternoon you can explore St Rémy or take an extra loop ride that goes through quaint medieval Provençal towns including Maillane, home to writer Frédéric Mistral, a proponent of Provençal culture and winner of the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature.

DAY 3: Bicycle to Les Baux-de-Provence

Highlights: Les Baux, Roman ruins, Van Gogh sites

St. Rémy is where Van Gogh painted several of his most famous works during a year's residence in the local sanitarium. You'll appreciate the views that inspired him as we support a ride to Les-Baux-de-Provence and into the Alpilles hills. There is much to explore in St Rémy this afternoon including the Roman ruins of Glanum, Van Gogh's sanitarium and the great shopping in town.

DAY 4: Bicycle to St. Quentin la Poterie

Highlights: Pont du Gard, castle visit, ceramics of St. Quentin, olive mill visit

We'll start the day with an olive oil tasting at a local olive press located just a few kilometers outside St Rémy. On our ride today we will cross the Rhône at Tarascon where you can visit the perfectly preserved 15th-century castle. Our route will then continue north to the Pont du Gard which is arguably the most extraordinary Roman ruin in all of Europe. It dates to 20 B.C. when it was built to support the aqueduct that carried water from Uzès to the Roman town of Nîmes. Later this afternoon we'll arrive in St Quentin la Poterie a small town with a long tradition of pottery making going back to prehistoric times. The craftsmen of St. Quentin contributed their pottery making skills to decorate the Palais des Papes in Avignon in the 14th Century.

  • Distance: 63km (39mi)
  • Gain: 476m (1561ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Rest day in St. Quentin la Poterie

Highlights: Optional bike ride to Uzès and local vineyards

We'll be in St Quentin again tonight, so you can decide whether you want to ride today, relax by the pool, or enjoy exploring the winding streets of St Quentin. We will also offer a shuttle into medieval Uzès for those who wish. If you chose to get out on your bike, we'll take a loop ride south to Uzès and ride through rolling vineyard country.

  • Distance: 42km (26mi)
  • Gain: 506m (1660ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Bicycle to Séguret

Highlights: Ceramics of St. Quentin, visit to Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône vineyards and villages

Today we head into the heart of the Côtes du Rhone vineyards with some of the most prestigious wines in the south of France including the renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We'll have a beautiful ride through small villages and open countryside before arriving at Châteauneuf where you can get a cafe lunch on your own, or picnic at the castle, a former summer palace of the Avignon Popes. You can also partake in a wine tasting of your choice at any of the countless local wineries. Our route continues on to Séguret surrounded by vineyards and set against the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains- our little paradise for the next two nights.

  • Distance: 68km (43mi)
  • Gain: 722m (2368ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Vaison-la-Romaine and Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards

Highlights: Roman vestiges and medieval castle in Vaison, picturesque wine villages (Sablet, Beaumes-de-Venise), optional climb up Mont Ventoux.

You can take a day off the bikes and relax at the hotel or pedal our loop ride to Vaison-la-Romaine and the nearby quaint villages known for their wines. Vaison offers some great insight into Roman and medieval life and architecture with its Roman ruins, archaeological museum, and imposing castle. The rest of the loop continues through wine country and Provençal villages with the giant Mont Ventoux set in the background. For those who want to push their limits there is also the opportunity to climb Mont Ventoux, the most illustrious Tour de France climb! You also have the option to take on Mont Ventoux (49 km) and forgo the loop ride. Regardless of what you decide it's guaranteed to be an amazing day!

  • Distance: 53km (33mi)
  • Gain: 854m (2801ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Bicycle to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Highlights: Vénasque, Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Today we pedal south into the Luberon Natural Park with its spectacular hilltop villages. Scenic roads will lead you to the beautiful 11th century Cistercian Sénanque Abbey then up to the perched village of Gordes, one of the most prominent villages of the Luberon. We'll enjoy a beautiful view of the valley as we wind our way down through the adjoining countryside and village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse which was built around a mysterious spring of the Sorgue river that surges out from underneath a towering limestone cliff.

  • Distance: 63km (39mi)
  • Gain: 916m (3004ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Bicycle to Lourmarin

Highlights: Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste, Lourmarin

Often referred to as the "Venice of Provence" Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is just a short ride away so be sure to stop and explore the incredible network of canals and water wheels. From there the route features the picturesque hilltop villages of the Luberon many of which were featured in Peter Mayle's best seller "A Year in Provence". Take your time and enjoy the great views, quaint streets, cafés, and impressive architecture that each place has to offer. After pedaling by the Marquis de Sade castle in Lacoste wind your way between the Grand Luberon and the Petit Luberon mountains by way of Bonnieux. You will be rewarded with a fantastic descent through the canyon to the village of Lourmarin. You can relax at the hotel this afternoon, visit the castle in Lourmarin or continue to explore the nearby villages on the southern side of the Grand Luberon.

  • Distance: 56km (35mi)
  • Gain: 900m (2952ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Classical Provence Loop

Highlights: Cucuron, La Tour d'Aigues, Scenic Provencal villages

Enjoy another day in our peaceful retreat in the Luberon countryside. Our loop takes you through scenic Provençal villages in the Grand Luberon. You can also opt to take a short ride to Lourmarin to people watch, have a delicious lunch, or visit the castle. Or simply relax poolside at our country-home hotel. Tonight we'll enjoy an outstanding celebratory dinner together.

  • Distance: 64km (40mi)
  • Gain: 860m (2821ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Group transfer to Aix-en-Provence, France

Highlights: Bon Voyage

After breakfast this morning, our tour ends with a group transfer to Aix-en-Provence or the TGV train station. Your Tour Leaders will be full of suggestions of what to see in Aix, or even in nearby Marseilles. Thanks for cycling with us through the highlights of Provence. Whatever your plans are from here, bon voyage!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Arrive in Arles

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note: As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the the Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris or the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)

How to get to Arles train station from CDG 

  1. Airport shuttle to the Aéroport CDG 2 TGV station. Train station is located beneath the airport (5-20 min/no cost)
  2. Train from Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport to Arles. (Train change in Avignon or Marseille) (3.5-4 hours/Fares vary)

How to get to Arles train station from MRS

  1. Airport shuttle bus from mp2 (platform 2) of the Marseille Airport to the "Marseille-Provence Airport - Vitrolles - TER" train station. (5 min/no cost)
  2. Train from the "Marseille-Provence Airport - Vitrolles - TER" to Arles (direction AVIGNON, not MARSEILLE) (30 min/fares vary - TER trains have a fixed price and do not need to be pre-booked). Be sure you choose a train that stops in Arles as there are also direct trains to Avignon. (The track is the closest one to the station entrance. For connection overview, See map)
  • Note: There are automated machines to purchase your TER train ticket at Vitrolles, but if you are more comfortable you can purchase from a human at the Marseille train ticket booth, which is just outside the airport to your right.

How to get to the Day 1 Hotel from Arles train station

  • Taxi from the Arles train station to the Day 1 Hotel (5 min/EUR 15-20)
  • Or walk 15 minutes. See map

Look up French train schedules and book tickets, if necessary, or Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Day 11: Departure Information

Group transfer to Aix-en-Provence, France

The tour ends on the final day with an ExperiencePlus! shuttle drop-off at either
  • the Aix-en-Provence TGV train station; arrival at 10:30 a.m. (1 hour transfer)
  • or at the Aix-en-Provence city train station; arrival at 11 a.m. (1.5-hour transfer)

Shuttle reservations 30 days prior to your tour start are required. Reserve by emailing us. If you can't make the shuttle, you will be responsible for your own transportation.

We recommend flying out of the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS). You can also fly out of Paris Charles de Gaulle (GDC), which is a 4-hour train ride.

How to get to Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) from the Aix-en-Provence TGV Train Station

  • Airport shuttle “LeCar” from the Aix-en-Provence TGV Station to the Marseille Airport (15 min/EUR 4, tickets sold on board).

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Refer to your Tour Packet/Itinerary to see step-by-step arrival and departure information for your tour, meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail we send 10 days prior to the due date for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Start reading one of the books or watching one of the movies from our Reading and Movie Lists:
  • Plan what you are going to pack and start packing! Refer to the Packing Lists on our website at
  • We'll email you your access code to Digital Daysheets, Hotel Itinerary, Participant Roster, names and contact information of your Tour Leaders, emergency phone numbers, and other important departure information about 2 weeks prior to your tour start date. All this will be provided to you via a feature called Experiences via the RideWithGPS App (tracks available but not necessary for navigation on Classic, Expedition and Bike & Boat tours).

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic page.





  • Oh, fabulous France. The cycling routes were wonderful. Climbing up to villages on tops of hills was a delight. Screaming down hill to Lourmarin in the rain was also quite a memory! Pont du Gard - well what more can one say? Explored every inch of the great castle at Tarascon and looked for the monster hiding somewhere... Hotels were all specially located and at that time of year air conditioning made them all even better. Domaine de Cabasse was beautifully situated amongst the vineyards. Hotel du Poete in Fontaine de Vaucluse was so peaceful with the spring flowing by. Hotel Le Mas de Guilles was a gorgeous place we are planning on returning to in 2021 with our non-cycling family!

    Joan M., Redwood City, CA - Sept 2019
  • An excellent combination of great food and a great route in an area that needs to be seen to be believed.

    Tim P., Afton, MN - May 2019
  • Beautiful scenery, great cultural experience and great wine. There was a mix of riding with some days being quite challenging.

    Jody D., Fort Collins, CO - May 2019
  • Great itinerary in a truly beautiful part of the world. Most memorable experience was climbing Mt. Ventoux. The Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux was also exceptional.

    James B., Incline Village, NV - September 2018
  • Pleasant riding through some wonderful, historical French villages. I am happy with ExperiencePlus and hope to do some more rides in the future.

    Matthew A., Auckland, NZ - September 2018
  • This trip was fantastic. Great leaders and really nice hotels. Great exercise each day, fantastic surroundings, fun people.

    Jim H., Denver, CO - September 2018
  • Bike Trip exceeded all expectations in every way. Both guides were so professional at all times and to everyone, they were so kind and courteous and patient at all times.

    Cathy H., Adelaide, Australia - September 2018
  • Beautiful routes, wonderful back roads, great food, and lots of different things to see.

    Debbie M., Tiburon, CA - September 2017
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Roman ruins, medieval castles, centuries'' old churches, great food and drink, great weather, great scenery!

    Pam B., Eugene, OR
  • The scenery and cycling tradition in Provence is not to be missed. Love the chalk marks!

    Laurie R., Minneapolis, MN
  • Thank you for another great trip. We are always confident that Experience Plus will offer us fun, safety, culture, and a great ride. I LOVE my new used bike!

    Linda Z., Sherborn, MA
  • Day sheets are extremely well done. Elevations and distances are very helpful. And the arrows, of course, are fabulous! Needless to say, we loved our bikes so much we brought them home.

    Brooks Z., Sherborn, MA
  • Spectacularly beautiful. For an amateur, some challenging climbs. Loved all of it.

    Verdi D., Wynnewood, PA
  • The whole experience with your company has been excellent. We like your arrow system, your choice of routes and hotels, your briefings and the materials provided for each day''s ride, and of course your guides. Thank you very much.

    Brooks Z.,Sherborn, MA
  • Fantastic trip. Love the arrows.

    Robert K., Reno, NV
  • Outstanding. Well organized, great region in France. We are ready to go again but we will go on other tours with you for the next 5 years and then do this one again.

    Peggy A., Soquel, CA
  • Thanks for recommending this tour it was unbelievable! We had a really terrific time.

    Lizz V., Sunnyvale, CA
  • A great ride in beautiful countryside with amazing Roman ruins, delicious food and wine, and some pretty good hills too!

    Laura Edman, Tacoma, WA
  • Dear all at EXP. Wow what a wonderful time we had this year on Provence Plus Oct!! The best guilds ever, outstanding weather, excellent program design, outstanding food and hotels, good bikes, and the best scenery in France. The routes you have designed could not be better. Time and time we would say that this back road was the best and up to the last day you would show us another even better one.

    John S., Portland, OR
  • If you want to experience Provence by way of fabulous cycling without cue sheets or hassle stress free at your own pace, this is the way to go. We were especially delighted to make new friends and share great cultural and social experiences.

    David S., Voorhees, NJ
  • This was an excellent trip. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Hal F., Saginaw, MI
  • In ten years of active travel, with a variety of companies, this was among the best trips we have taken. We were simply stunned by Provence. And our tour leaders, being native Europeans, were superlative. Just the best. Period.

    Paul R., Baltimore, MD
  • Fabulous, beautiful, fun, the best way to take a bike trip. The perfect combination of guidance and independence. The routes were well thought out - beautiful and interesting. My niece and I are vegans and our guides made sure the meals were perfectly done for our needs and had extra food available if we needed it. The bicycles were great and the guides very attentive to their daily care. The pre-assistance I received was very helpful as well.

    Kathy S., Saginaw, MI
  • This was a great biking tour. Our guides were all excellent and the cycling routes and directions were very well done. We enjoyed the scenery immensely and loved seeing the countryside and all the small towns that we visited. This was a great trip and we appreciate all the people at ExperiencePlus! who do the work to make it happen so flawlessly.

    Shelley M., Scottsdale, AZ
  • What a blast!

    Leonard M., Sunnyvale, CA
  • THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! I think that plenty of fresh air, exercise, great accommodations, and great food and drink shared together makes for perfect conditions for people to leave the stress of work behind and thoroughly enjoy each others company as we adventure together. We are sold on bicycle touring for all these reasons!

    Anne C., North Oaks, MN
  • Another fantastic ExperiencePlus ride with informed guides and fun people to ride with. It was our 10th ride and we have loved everyone of the 10. Plus the discount was nice! Next will be Spain in 2014.

    Mary B., Newport Beach, CA
  • I loved everything about this tour. The route was beautiful and interesting. I liked the flexibility that was available as well. The tour guides were so knowledgeable, helpful, fun and just really nice guys! The accommodations and food were great. I learned a lot and had a terrific time. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    Pam H., Mukilteo, WA
  • It was a great tour... Thank you. I can''t wait to sign up for a 2014 tour.

    Susan C., Ft Collins, CO
  • Favorite things: Mont Ventoux, the food, the sights and guides.

    Robert P., Bellevue, WA
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Les Baux de Provence, the bull games in St. Remey, the chance to ride up Mt. Ventoux. A great trip.

    Gordon B., Calgary, Alberta
  • Best vacation we''ve ever had. Beautiful country, Excellent tour guides, Excellent overall tour process.

    Jim H., Loveland, CO
  • I have done over 20 cycling tours in Europe with 5 different touring companies .... they were all good, but this was one of the best .... the routes, the arrows so each could cycle at their own pace, and the guides were all excellent.

    Bill M., Paso Robles, CA
  • I have described it as the best cycling trip I have taken. I have recommended the trip to everyone as a must do. One reason I like tours is so that someone else can do the planning and events in a country with which I am not familiar. This trip was well planned and executed. You are the experts!

    Jean M., Paso Robles, CA
  • The tour leaders were absolutely awesome. I would recommend this tour to everyone that has an interest in biking. It was an experience of a lifetime. The countryside is absolutely beautiful!

    Linda H., Loveland, CO
  • I loved it. Eating and biking across Provence. I ate dessert at every meal and didn't gain weight. Warm, sunny days. Cools evenings. Natural beauty combined with historical attractions, and great biking.

    Jeffrey B., Wilmington, DE
  • A fabulous experience! Thank you.

    Ellen L., Boulder, CO
  • This was our 1st bike tour & we are ready to book another!! Terrific vacation

    Phil C., Littleton, CO
  • The Provence region was even better than we had hoped. I enjoyed the ancient towns, castles and Roman ruins and meeting the French people.

    Ron J.
  • I'm hooked on bike touring! I loved all the small French towns that we visited - places I never would have found if I was on my own. I liked being able to get away from the tourist crowds and really experience Provence!

    Mike O.
    Florissant, MO
  • We look forward to our next tour with Experience Plus! We enjoyed the people we met on the Provence tour. A very compatible group, the guides were excellent and the routes were superb!

    Ludmila S., Prospect, KY
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? There were many memorable moments and experiences - pehaps my birthday picnic beside the river looking up at the Pont du Gard - and then cycling across it - was a favourite. I also enjoyed the many interactions with French folks along the way who were good humoured and patient with my fractured French.

    Diane C., Gabriola, BC, Canada
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? The hilltop towns of the Luberon and the variety the routes provided day to day. At times it felt as if we were riding in a totally different country from day to day.

    Gayle R., Whitefish Bay, WI
  • It is one of the great joys of our lives to be able to do your tours.

    June W.
    Saint Paul, MN
  • This is my first bike tour and my first trip to France and I loved both! It was so nice to take a trip and have someone else take care of most of the details. I look forward to another bike tour in France in the very near future...thanks for the wonderful experience!

    Prati W.
    New Berlin, WI
  • Everything was perfect, I wouldn't change a thing!

    Marilea S.
    San Diego, CA
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