Stage 4 Barcelonnette – Guillestre
Two different routes again. I could go over Col de Var, but would prefer to retrace the Vallee d’Ubaye area, towards the Lac de Serre-Poncon, to check it out for future visit. So that’s my route, and Ian’s going the direct route over the Col de Var. Weather bright and sunny, after yet another very wet evening- it’s like being back in
Borneo, with the amount of rain we’ve been having and the heavy mist hanging over hills and villages!
Mountain views all the way to Guillestres, our overnight stop at campsite Saint Jame au Pin. Ian arrived just as I’d finished setting up the van, and a rare afternoon siiting in the warm sunshine. After a bbq, we walked into Guillestres, about 2k away, for a pastis and a beer. Quite a mix of old three/four storey buildings, and new chalet-style ones. A feature of this area is the numerous heavy winches in the attic, formerly used for lifting grain into the loft-space. The church dates back to 11th century, with modifications made in 1510, and has two stone lions in front supporting the porch columns, again a feature copied throughout the area, with remains of wall-paintings.
We walked past a superb allotment, where a local lady was labouring over her veggies and wished her bonsoir and said her vegetables looked superb. Also loads of roses adorned the narrow roadside edges and smelled fantastic.
A shorter day of 35miles but another high alpine pass- Col de Vars at 2100m I was labouring up the pass, at about two thirds of the way, when ten German female cyclists shot past me as if I was standing still!! At the same time, another female by-stander shouted “ Allez, allez monsieur. Attaquez les filles!!” I did manage to hang on to their pink lycra shirt-tails, but it nearly finished me!! Another fast, exciting descent to Guillestres, and an afternoon snooze. Update on condition of posterior- still causing some painful concern, and a generous application twice daily of Lanacane barrier cream!!!