After a tough day yesterday, we assumed that today would be a much easier day. What were we thinking?!? 48 miles with over 6,700 feet of elevation gain over two tough climbs. All the muscles that were worn out yesterday were put to the test again today. Our first climb was eight miles starting right at our hotel this morning. Better than coffee! At the top we zipped on our jackets for a 30-minute descent. On the way down we passed through several villages done up in bunting and flags for today's Bastille Day celebrations, and we also saw jeeps, tanks and other military vehicles on display, some of which bore American flags and American military designations. It reminded us of the special support that this ride provides through your generosity.
After the descent, we had to poke around a bit to find the correct route forward, but after consulting the GPS and a couple of locals it was back uphill for another 8-mile climb, only this time a bit steeper.
In the early part of the second climb, we stopped for food in a small village. Our French friend used his pocket knife to slice up some cheese and sausage from the local grocery, and those delicacies plus some fresh bread and fruit rounded out our picnic lunch. On the way out of town we had planned to get some extra water from the fountain until a local friendly informed us the natural laxative qualities of the village water!
We reached the summit of the second climb at about 3 in the afternoon, enjoyed a coffee, donned our rain gear in anticipation of a pending shower, and started a glorious 18-mile descent.
The descent was a beautiful road with curve after curve and turn after turn past forests, streams, and cliffs. There were views as varied as they were beautiful around every corner as we wound our way down to Sospel, a charming valley village just 25 miles north of Nice. We reached our hotel at 4:15, without any rain, and all of us happy to be finished a third consecutive day of strenuous but rewarding cycling.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!