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Day 2: La Connette de Douche (pas la plus haute)

June 10, 2014

Day 2 took us from Valberg to Ste Marie de Vars via the mighty Col de la Bonnette and the steep south side of the Col de Vars.

Forget the cycling for the moment though – the day shall be remembered more for Gabbi turning up at lunch with his arm in plaster beyond his elbow. Nasty injury, whacking great cast. And I should point out (because he told me to) that he rode on for a good 75k after doing it yesterday. Hero. Slightly bonkers hero, but hero.

Name on sign, you can read

Name on sign, you can read

Back to the Bonnette, which is a huge climb but something of a con. It bills itself as the highest paved route in Europe, but only if you do the steep extra loop at the top that resembles a Doncaster slag heap. We didn’t. It was a long, tough, windy climb and I hated most of it. Great views, harsh on the bottom. And Typo insisted on calling it the Bonnette de Douche all day. This was no shower cap, more a mountain of misery.

I should point out the amazing descent as we made our way out of Provence this morning. It went on and on, past perched villages, waterfalls and enough rock formations to make a geology teacher sweaty. Pictures to follow.

The day ended with an initially steady but then gruelling ascent of the Col de Vars. Windy again, thunderstorms threatening and fairy long sections of 9 and 10%.

Top hotel tonight in Vars with a roaring fire.

Tomorrow: long drag to Briancon then the Lauteret and Galibier. Or the Motorway and the Glib-ier. But no shower caps needed, we hope.


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