So we get caught in the thunderstorm but just before it starts bucketing down we pass a house in ND de Mésage and a lady scurrying towards her front door. I enquire if there would be a gite or hotel close by and with much gesturing she invites us to stay in her garden flat. I have just leaned my bike under the cover on the verandah when the heavens open. One minute later and we would have been soaked and definitely not have received the invite either.
I bunk down for the night and set off fairly late the morning so that we do not disturb the good Samaritan too early.
We head on up the valley passing through several villages. One with a variation of my own name and I will check if it has any ties with my ancestry.
We stop for coffee at a Carolyn’s roadside restaurant and end up having 3 cups because the coffee is so good. We also use the wifi and I get up to date with emails and messages and I use the opportunity to phone home. Her parents own the steel works across the road and I buy a small steel bike cut out as a momento.
Once we crest the rise from the coffee shop it is a long downhill into Port Romaine and then a short ride to Ferme Noemie to camp for two days. Today was another 1939m of climbing to get to our destination.
Thanks Kevin and Brigitte for recommending the camp site because the owners are very friendly and welcoming. I can recommend this establishment for anyone wanting to ride the cols in the area and they do offer more than camping spots. Find them on www.fermenoemie.com .
Soon we have a spot under the apple tree and put up our tents. I wash my clothing and then have a shower and I am ready to watch the Tour.
We ride a little further up the valley to Le Bourge de Oisans to a pub with ice cold beers and watch the gladiators fight it out. We shop at the Carrefour express and then race another thunderstorm back to camp. This time the storm wins and we are wet by the time we reach our tents.
After a nice dinner it is off to bed with the prospect of watching tomorrow’s stage live on the slopes of the Col de Glandon (1924m).
Friday I will ride the Alpe Du Huez climb (1860m) and Saturday race back to Grenoble to catch a train to Paris. I have forfeited the ultimate stage on Saturday to be in Paris for the finish because I could not get a late train that will take my bike.
Some cols to consider in the future Col du Galibier (2645m), Col Du Lauteret (2058m), Col de la Croix de fer (2067m) and a few more……..
And so the amazing adventure will end with two days in Paris then a flight via Dubai to Cape Town.
Cannot wait to see the family now …….!!!!
Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world