Germany, Iceland, France (& that Bike Race) & England

July, 2005

The Alps: Day 2, Looking around

The Gite is in "La Tuviere", a very small village a long way above the town of St Jean de Maurienne. Nearby are the Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier, L'Alpe D'Huez and Col de la Croix de Fer, not to mention the huge climb from the valley to our abode!

The Gite is small, but warm and dry and the views from windows and verandahs are extraordinary. Cooking facilities are quite good.

View from the front verandah, Graeme and Debbie, Inside the main room, Col de Galibier

We drove to Telegraphe and Galibier after a nice slow start to the day (very little sleep again, but at least good sleep!). Debbie drove: we all piled into her car for this trip.

Lunch was at a pub in St Michel de Maurienne - for Fran and me the first good meal for a while. St Michel de Maurienne struck us as run down, dirty and old, and all of these things were ture in varying degrees. Certainly the 'cute' style of housing we had seen in Germany only two weeks ago was nowhere to be seen here.

Then we did the deed, our first ride. A very quick saunter up the hill to where the sealed road ends, then back, and then... down to Jarrier - 4.2 kms away and god knows what altitudinal difference. This of course was great, but we had to come back! Fran of course just sailed up, but I had to take a few rests - high altitude, late nights, no sleep and most of all lack of fitness (a week off the bike in Icleand is my excuse) all took a toll. This was the first of our alpine cycling adventures, and it could only get harder from here!