Some days you feel great, but not today. Yesterday's efforts really told!
Ian remembered a trip he did from La Berarde to La Grave, on a walking trip with Keith and friends about 35years ago, and he was impressed by the remoteness of the place. Steve and Ali, campers opposite us, had just come back from walking there and were thrilled by the fact that La Berarde is right in the thick of the Ecrins mountains. It was an old shepherding village, literally at the end of the road. 20 miles to a beautiful cul-de-sac. You take the road to Briancon, and then come off at Le Clapier, following the road to Venosc and St Christophe. The road climbs steeply 11% over 3kms. As the road hairpins up to St Christophe, you can see the white-water rafters on the churning river Veneon. The Veneon Valley is spectacular, and the road climbs steadily and more easily up to L Berarde. Time for a small beer and take in the snowy mountain scene. The majestic SW slopes of the Ecrins reach 4102m, wonderful and quiet. Because there's no Col as such to conquer, you don't get hoards of motor-cyclists. Because it's a long cul-de-sac, you don't get much traffic. Consequently, it's mainly cyclists, and not many of them, so lovely and quiet. A shorter day, today, only 4hours in the saddle!