Another big riding day today. But what a joy. Perfect weather, almost perfect roads, the most amazing scenery in the world, and thousands of other riders out enjoying it all as well. Just simply fantastic.
And that doesn't include all the little french villages we passed through, or stopped in, or the locals who did their best to chat with us (can't always guarantee english up here).
So this morning we hooked up with 3 french riders (a couple and a solo) on a GSXR1100 (2 up) and a Bandit 1200. Only one spoke very stilted english, but after we explained (maps and miming) where we were going, they changed their plans and decided to ride with us to Col de lÍseran which just happens to be the 4th highest paved road in Europe, and the highest that you can continue on over. In my opinion it beats Stelvio for all kinds of reasons, but mainly as it's not so well known there's no tourists vans/buses/winnebago's/homicidal Italians drivers wobbling their way up. Well except us, but we do a little faster than 20kph. Ive taken a vid of the last few minutes but it wont be uploaded in time tonight, so I'll post it separately tomorrow.
Then we continued over another 3: Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibeir and Col de Vars. By then the sun was getting low, and as we've changed our plans a little now, we stopped in a gorgeous little town called Barcelonette for the night.
Tomorrow morning we'll ride the 26 or so kms up to Col de la Bonette, which is the 3rd highest paved road in Europe. (Stelvio Pass is the 5th apparently).
And that will be the end of the mountain adventures for us (for now?) We've decided that if we are to have any time in Paris, and considering there's a few important people back in UK we really want to catch up with again (a wave to Paul and Alan, and to Loui) then we need to let Monaco and the Mediterranean go. It's just too far down to turn around and come back up again. Oh well, just means we'll have to return in a few years time.
So tomorrow we climb a huge mountain one more time, then come back down, turn north and start making our way to Paris, then Calais, then England. A bit sad really, but it's time, and this little lap of Europe has really been the most incredible adventure.
We spent most of the day taking videos, but here's a few pics to go on with till we can get them uploaded.
Goodnight for now.