Mercantour – Day 2
A typical cycle touring day in France.
Today we swapped mountains for a valley.
An out and back excursion along part of the valley and gorge of the Tinée river. We cycled up the valley at a steady pace in the middle chainring, with stops to admire the views, and coming back again was an exceedingly satisfactory freewheel nearly all the way requiring very little pedalling or braking. We were on the main road to Nice. In fact because of the terrain we were on the only road. But the traffic was not too bad. A couple of large livestock lorries went by. Tomorrow is Transhumance day everywhere in this area and everyone is getting ready.
There was a very strong hot wind blowing in from the Mediterranean all day. If it was not actually the Mistral it was doing a very good impression. It was on our backs assisting us up the valley and provided some gentle braking for us coming down.
No energy bars by the roadside today. A proper café coffee stop in the charming village of Isola (well actually cold drinks) with tarte au pomme for Sheila and tarte au citron for John instead of tea cakes. Quite a lot of chat and questions about the trike. Picnic lunch on a shady bench overlooking the Tinée in St Sauveur comprised of pizza and giant pain au raisins.
Momentary thoughts of continuing on the road to Nice and the Mediterranean, which was only another 60km away (nearly all downhill), but we have to turn back towards the even higher mountains tomorrow and go col climbing again if we are to complete our Mercantour excursion and return to Barcelonnette.