Sunday, 12 August 2012

Day 7 to 9 - Going home

After a splendid evening in Menton, we took 3 days to go home. First day took us up to Bourgoin (close to Grenoble). Second day took us to Essoyes (close to Troyes). Last day took us home. No specific things to mention, next to the fact that we had some limited curves here or there that gave us a bit of excitement, but nothing of course compared to everything we did in the Alpes.

To end, let me give you some extra pics that we took along the way:

The last picture is showing a Poule de Bresse. Nice little animal :)

This will be the last post of our trip. Should you ever come across this blog and/or should you have questions on our road book, preparation we did, etc then don't hesitate to drop us a note.

Take care,
Stef and Koen

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Day 6 - Menton

We woke up this morning we a clear blue sky again :) We only had to cover 75 kms today, so this should have been a piece of cake.

The roads that we had to cover were not in excellent conditions at times, so we had to be extra careful today to make sure that we got in Menton safely. In the end it took us up to 4h in the afternoon to get to Menton.

We made a stop at one of the cols at noon, the Col de Turini:

And we took some pictures from the bar in the hotel (in Menton) on the 7th floor:

Today was the last of the Route des Grandes Alpes. Tomorrow we will start going up to Belgium again. Plans are to leave at 8h in the morning, as we have to cover 460 kms up to Bourgoin (close to Grenoble). However, we still have to go out to grab some diner. And I hope we will have enough resistance to the drinks this time. Hmm ... :)

Day 5 - Valberg

As we didn't have any decent internet connection yesterday, we had to wait to post an update of yesterday till this evening. So here we go:

We woke up in Briancon with a clear blue sky. So weather conditions did change completely over night. After we good breakfast we mounted the bikes and left around 9h30 for a ride of "only 130 kms". Although the amount of kms to cover were minor compared to previous days, it still took us till +/- 17h to get our new destination, Valberg.

Yesterday was definitely the best till then, taking into account the excellent weather, but also the region we covered was fantastic. A lot of green valleys, magnificent views, great mountains to cross. On the latter, we had to go over the Col d'Izoard :

The Col de Vars :

And finally, the Col de Cayolle :

Last, a nice picture of the valley we went thru when going from the Col d'Izoard to the Col de Vars:

We had a great day, but were tired of the many mountains that we had to cross. We closed the days with some food (could have been better) and some drinks. Again :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Day 4 - Briancon

We woke up a bit earlier today then previous days. Weather forecast weren't that impressive, so we thought to beat the system by leaving a half to an hour earlier ... In the beginning our approach seemed to work. We had a lovely sunshine when looking out of the balcony :

So we took a quick breakfast, loaded the bikes and took of. We left Tignes and drove thru Val d'Isere (see picture below) to attack the Col d'Iseran.

It was a fabulous mountain to climb, leading us up to +/- 2500 m of altitude. Not so far away from the top, we had a table that gave us a full view on the surrounding mountains. Have a look:

Fantastic - isn't it. We were able to cross the Col d'Iseran in good conditions. And that was about it for the day. Our planned that started so well in the beginning of the day, didn't seem to be "waterproof" ...

Meaning, when going down the Col d'Iseran the rain started to drop slowly but surely. We climbed down to Modane to take a quick lunch. Rain continued to come down. And we still had to go over the Col du Galibier. So that's what we did indeed in the end - rain trashing down and turning into hail at times, fog coming in, temperature going below 10 degrees, goats crossing the roads all of a sudden, etc. We managed to cross the Galibier safely, and arrived at 16h in our hotel in Briancon. A good shower, some Mojito and Havana restored our mindsets :) So we gave the bikes a quick freshen up sessions to rinse down the dust and all the mud that they collected during the latest 2 days.

Weather conditions for tomorrow are looking good. No rain ... bikes are shiny again, ready for another 130 kms. No straight roads ahead of us. Only turns going from left to right to left to right to ... :) So let's see what tomorrow gives.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Day 3 - Tignes

We woke up this morning and the weather didn't look very promising. A lot of grey clouds and poring rain ... Well we decided to pack the bikes in any case and give it a try. We left around 9h30 and drove up to the Alpes. We started with the Col du Colombier. As it was still raining and as the mountain was hanging into the clouds, we took a steady pace and didn't take any pictures.

Coming down the mountain, it stopped raining and we arrived at Chinaillon to take some lunch. It stopped raining for about an hour and a half. As we were ready to start riding again, it started raining again as well. Bad timing ... We continued our trip however and were rewarded with a nice and sunny afternoon that allowed us to cross some nice areas. See the shot below to get an impression:

The summary of the villages that we passed today: La Baume, Les Gets, Morzine, Cluses, Flumet, Beaufort, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Tignes (where we are staying for the night).

We also passed by the "lac de Roselend". Very nice. And afterwards made a stopped at +/- 1800 m altitude. Took a coffee. Have a look here :

The last half an hour gave us a big shower of rain again ... Let's hope the weather is better tomorrow. We have a lot of big mountains to cross then (> 2700 m of altitude ...). We decide to boost our energy with a bottle of Pommard of 1999. Nice way to end the day :) We'll be back tomorrow with more info ...

Day 2 - Towards Thonon Les Bains

Right - as we didn't have internet connectivity yesterday evening, we decided to post the update of yesterday this evening. So we drove up from Friday evening's place up to Thonon-Les-Bains, which is one of the villages close to the "lac de Genève". See the picture for a nice shot of the lake:

Rain showers came in late yesterday afternoon, as you can see. That's exactly what we were confronted with on the next day. See next post for more info. In the end, we had a fabulous ride through the Jura region in France, using both national and departmental roads.

By the way, the commercial was done by Nicole Kidmann :)

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Lunch in Arbois (Jura).

200kms further and we arrived in Arbois. We stopped to take a quick lunch. Nice roundabout where the terraces are located :