This is a late update for last week, whoops!
We spent some time riding through the Verdon Gorge, which is really awesome and beautiful. I cycled there with the fanny pack a few years ago, so it was lovely to be back on roads previously ridden. We also ditched the bikes and rented a canoe for a trip up the gorge which was great fun!
The start of the week was pretty rainy, and the forecast was rubbish, really wet and cold. This led to a lot of dillydallying about routes and which direction we should go in. We ended up deciding to head east instead of North into the Alps. I wanted more mountains, but couldn’t face more cold wet nights in a tent!
We found some lovely, very quiet roads and cols just north of Nice, and bumped into a French couple at the top of one who were just finishing up their 4-year world cycle tour! We also took some ‘dangerous’ (according to our map) roads, which turned out to be super beautiful and fun to ride! Lesson learnt…
We had another closed campsite, and a few with gravel pitches, which is interesting! The campsites are getting more expensive now it’s the start of summer which is not great. Although we did treat ourselves to a hut on stilts at one campsite which was fun and also kept us dry!
However, we had a big disappointment this week. We had been heading towards Italy, and cycled up to Tende (via some epic hairpin climbs thanks to col de turini (1607 m)), before starting col de Tende. We got nearly up to the tunnel before finding the road to the col, and the tunnel, were closed! It was very snowy at the top and the road isn’t paved so we ended up descending all the way back to the coast, and crossing the border to Italy by Fanghatto.
As soon as we crossed the border, it was hotter, the road surfaces were worse and there was a lot more traffic, and loads of people on mopeds! We climbed up, away from the coast, to find a lovely campsite, but ended up having to drop back to the coast the next day.
By the coast we saw more cyclists than we had previously seen on our whole trip, and pretty much every one says ‘ciao!’ We followed a great cycle path along the coast through San Remo, before climbing up the SS28 and up the Colle di Nava (941 m). Some of the tunnels we have now cycled through were 2km long!
We were offered a pitch under a roof in Nava, which we gratefully took, luckily as the thunderstorms started that evening!
Italy has been great so far, despite the busy, big roads and traffic. We are planning on heading east to try and catch some of the Giro!
Jim’s words – Barnabé, Dangerous, Cabine, Lacets, Closed, Italy, Sore.