The French Alps

Just like the mountains the last few days have had their fair share of ups and downs too.

After Laura’s tantrums of day 1 we decided to slow it down and take in the sights of Talloires and Annecy. Neither disappointed and we indulged in lake swims, downhills and flat cycle paths. We were also lucky enough to stay with Donna, Dennis and Jack who looked after us particularly well – thanks guys it was VERY much appreciated!

One thing that is becoming quite common, even in our first few days of bike touring is that the bikes promote conversation. A bit like dogs, or babies. If you are lugging around a heavy steel framed bike upon which sits all your possessions, people come over and have a chat. So far we have met Graham and Anne two absolute legends who are still traveling the continent in their eighties, the two Glaswegian ladies from day 1 and numerous people who stop us as we’re at the camp site or tourist office asking what on earth we are doing. Their responses usually fall into two categories, bonkers or legends. I’m deciding the latter 🙂

Right, back to Laura’s toys flying out of the pram. Upon leaving Annecy we cycled along a lovely flat cycle path, it was boiling hot, the path was smooth, mountains were glorious and it was lulling us into a very false sense of how the day might pan out. After having lunch we figured we only had about 15k to go until the next town where we would try to find a camping spot. It was about 3pm and even at our slow speed with maybe a couple of lumps it wouldn’t take to too long. Cue a road closure. That’s ok, the French have created a diversion……. over a mountain pass. So, our nice little roll into the next town took about four hours. Four hours of sweating, swearing, burning quads and every other car van and truck also taking the diversion. Upon reaching Flumet (the bright light at the end of the death tunnel) and asking a local about where we might be allowed to camp we were pretty much told to f*ck off, in French. By this point there were no toys left and it was just a case of ‘shut up and pedal’. However I should point out that the next town, which thankfully wasn’t another mountain pass away did have camping and beer and Mike Kerrigan aka Bad Mike. The day was saved!

Since that second horror day we have managed to haul ourselves up to Chamonix du Mont Blanc, found the most beautiful back roads and quaint villages and taken a day off cycling to find a glacier. The glacier was absolutely stunning, however once we were up there it started moving, well it sounded like an avalanche and huge pieces of ice started tumbling down. We’re not sure if this is totally normal for summer time, but it scared us enough to get ourselves back down the mountain pretty quickly and into a refuge for some beer.

Tomorrow we’re crossing the boarder into Switzerland and slowly making our way over to Grindelwald where we’re running in a trail race next Saturday. Google doesn’t think there’s too many mountains, no idea about road closures however it is due to rain for the next three days – yay!

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One thought on “The French Alps

  1. The Gordon's Miscellany says:

    I think you two are going to make me laugh in each post! My gawd I would have cried in your shoes. Pleased you found a camp ground!
    I would love to go to Chamonix in the summer time, maybe once we are back in Europe we will make it our mission!
    Just keep cycling, just keep cycling 😀 X

    Like

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