Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Stage 9 Bourg St Maurice to Beaufort

Stage 9 Bourg St Maurice – Beaufort

The homeward stretches now, and an easy and semi-relaxing day. A short stage for Ian over the Cormet de Roseland, the route of last year’s Tour de France, and at 1960m., not a climb to be underestimated. On to a campsite near Beaufort, Camping des Sources, where we stayed for five nights, so familiar territory.

A narrow pass up to the col, and in some ways more difficult to negotiate than the road up to Iseran, because it’s barely wide enough for two small vehicles, let alone a campervan, but I tucked in behind a lorry climbing the hill, and if anyone was going to have to reverse, it wouldn’t be him!

After setting up the van at the site, and I put in an order for baguette beaufortaine ( a delicious baguette full of beaufort cheese and lardons), croissants and pains au chocolat for the following day. What a great service that is at campsites – fresh bread and breakfast delivered to your van in the morning. Then cycling kit on and off up to the Cormet de Roseland from my side. I passed Ian on the way down,and he was finished by 11.30am. He’d done well and now could rest for the rest of the day. I made it to the top without much stress and was back by 1.30pm, so we both just relaxed and did some reading. Definitely best to get out early am., as it gets windier by the afternoon, and busier, with motor-bikes zipping past trying to bag another col

On the way over we’d both spotted a superb spot, to be investigated another time, near Les Chapieux/ Val des Glaciers. A good spot for campervans, with an auberge and immediate access to the mountains. A great place for getting into the mountains and on the Tour de Mont Blanc walki.

Ian says: A relatively easy day with only 24miles and 3750ft of ascent. Great descent overlooking Roselend valley. Passed several people on the way up. Three of them were under 10yrs old., with their Mum and Dad- they start them young here! Fancy doing a 3000+ ft climb at that age- one of them only looked 7! Marie had seen them labouring up the hill and given them a thumb’s up and the usual “Allez y”!

A great day for Kate! What an achievement. She got a first class honours in her accountancy degree at Leeds. She worked extremely hard and we’re glad it paid off . “I’m so excited, I can hardly breathe!” she said.


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