Thursday, 7 July 2011

Back in Beaufort

Mont Blanc in background at Tetes des Fours

After a few hours’ drive, we were back in Beaufort at my favourite site, Camping des Sources- beautiful, tranquil setting, with waterfall tumbling the cliffs behind, beautiful, loved gardens and facilities. The site was quieter than we’ve ever known it, but that seems to be the case wherever we’ve been.   The couple remembered that we’d been a couple of times before.  3 or 4 nights here to explore the cycling and walking, order the local beaufortain bread (with lardons and nuts), trying and get wifi to finally post some blogs, and enjoy some peace and quiet, after the busy Bourg d’Oisan.  One of the worst thing about staying at the hotel, was the terrible night’s sleep we had- local drunks shouting until the wee small hours, then the cleaning lorry street cleaning, then the road repairing lorries coming through!!

The next few days we spent cycling up the tranquil and stunningly beautiful Cormet de Roselend(1.46), up the Col de Pre, a steep climb out of Beaufort, the Col de Saisies(1.42), with its surprisingly clear view of Mont Blanc, as we cycled around the hairpins..  The cycle up the Col de Joly would have to wait for another year.

We did a cracking walk up past the Refuge de la Croix de Bonhomme and on to Tete de Fours, with its orientation table, but we didn’t need it to find Mont Blanc, white and clear in the distance.  From the Tete, it looked so close, still covered in snow.  It was an amazing day, with totally clear blue sky, and no wind, but very chilly towards the top at 2800m  Being a Sunday, and an impeccable day, there were lots of people trying to get a closer look of the mountains, all 360deg of them, right over to the border with Italy and the pretty Mont Pourri.  Five and a half hours later we were back at the van, then off to the edge of the Lac du Roselend, which is really a reservoir, for a wild camping night.  Lovely spot to watch the sun go down on a grand day out.  Chilly night, but 3000’ up!

Sad to be leaving this area, and will miss the peace and quiet, the cool, crisp air, the smell of all the hundreds of wild and alpine flowers, the sound of the tinkling of the cow bells, the beautiful brown faces of the cows (but wow they make expensive cheese averaging about 13euros for a chunk of cheese!)

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