Our first 795m Col

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Campsite by the Lake

Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Thursday, September 16, 2010

What a day! Having told Sid and Muneera we would be in Geneva on Friday, we knew we really had to make it, but looking ahead and seeing the mountains was scary. We got up early, and not having cooked the night before made a quick get away. (Normally Mikey has to do the washing up. my job is packing up the tent.) Went into the village and had a coffee, and more pain au raisins in a Tabac where the local old men where having a carafe of red wine and a catch up. (9.30am) This was obviously their regular routine as when I went to the toilet the barman gave me a screwdriver to unlock it as he said otherwise the old men pee everywhere! Planned our route and found a white road which followed the motorway through the valley instead of up and down every hill as we had done the previous day. Made very good ground to Macon, where we had an early lunch to fuel ourselves for what we knew would be a long day. We got straight back on the bikes and onto a straight red road (N79) to Bourg-en-Bresse. We got there at 3.15 after 45miles feeling tired, but knowing that the more we did today the earlier we would get to Geneva. Had a quick stop, filled the water bottles, got a map from the tourist office, where the lady said it was a 30k to Nantua on a good but steep road. We decided to go for it. The road was very up and down, but after an enormous climb we found ourselves in a beautiful gorge about 8 miles outside the city, there was a campsite but again we made the decision to go for it. We then came to the bottom of the 795m col which we had been told about. After the initial 4mins we both had to stop and definitely though there was no way we would make it. In the end it took 1 and a 1/2 hours climbing and several stops to eat, put on luminous jackets as it was getting dark and just rest, but we made it. The 7 miles to the campsite after that were mostly down hill  and we arrived at a beautiful lakeside campsite at 8pm, just before it got dark, feeling truly exhausted but very pleased with ourselves. 75 miles done - hopefully no more than 50 to Geneva. Unfortunately after we put the tent up, we discovered the showers we not only cold, but unlit and you had to continuously pull a handle to operate them so that it was very difficult to wash! Had a well earned beer in the bar, a cup a soup and then bed.
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