A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Sunday: wet.

the_valley_we_stayed_in.jpgWe’ve certainly got lucky with our accommodation! Simon (who booked it) was worried that it was quite expensive, but so far it definitely seems worth it! I have a double bed and a view over the valley, and at night I can hear the river. I’m happy with it! :-) And, importantly, there are 3 showers too. It was my turn to cook last night, so I quickly rustled up some pasta and lentils. We washed this down with a bottle of 2009 Cotes du Rhone, a lovely soft red wine; French wine certainly justifies it’s reputation!

Sunday morning, and my legs are still feeling pretty stiff after yesterday. Hopefully it will be a fairly easy day today! The plan is to do 100km or so; however, it’s rather wet outside, and no-one seems very inclined to go out…
So, after hanging around for a while, we’ve made the decision to abandon a ride for today; it’s raining cats and dogs outside, and the river across the road has swollen to at least double the size it was last night. we’re going to head up the mountain behind the cottage for a walk instead, on the grounds that we’ll get just as wet, but it’s easier to stay warm on foot than on bikes.

the_view_from_my_window.jpgWe walked up through the village and past a pretty old little church shedding buckets of water from its steep roof. The path from the village wound steeply up through a pine forest, which smelt deliciously of pinecones and rain. Occasional glimpses showed us the ski slopes on the opposite side of the valley cutting through the tress, and once above the treeline we could turn back and see the valley below us, with the villages nestling along the valley floor, and the river thundering along; we could still hear it, even at this distance! We decided that it was too late for us to attempt the summit, and turned round soon after leaving the trees, but not before we came across one of the most beautiful bits of scenery I’ve ever seen: an alpine meadow, nestling on the side ofthe mountain, and covered with a blanket of violet, yellow and white flowers. An alpine ibex (or possibly a chamois antelope?) seemed surprised to see us, and wasn’t sure whether to run away or stay and share the meadow with us. After a couple of moments, it troted off out of sight.

The descent was at least as pleasant as the way up - more so, in fact, as the sun came out - and it’s now time for a shower and dinner; and I think Si is planning a big stew…