Today was scheduled as a rest day, but for anyone who knows me, they would know that term does not sit easily with me. I can’t do nothing!
Originally we had hoped to do the classic Tourmelet climb, weather permitting. Thunderstorms were forecast to hit Bagneres between 12 noon and 1 pm rendering this ride and climb as being in the ‘ not too sensible’ bucket.
Instead we opted to do the Superbagneres climb which starts right in Luchon.
Luchon is another spa town so you can guess what breakfast was! Yes, bread only! Hardly the food for a cyclist! So I supplemented this with some coconut cream I had purchased from the local supermarket.
We dropped the paniers for this ride given it was an out and back ride.
The views were simply stunning!
Below are a range of photos from the climb.
The climb is 17 km long. At the top is a currently closed ski village. Great views over Luchon. I managed to fall off my bike whilst sticky beaking and now have quite a nice range of bruises on both legs and gravel rash on my buttocks and thigh! No photos, ha ha!
It was a very fast and fun descent back into Luchon where we went straight to a creperie for a nice galette and coffee.
Being our third spa town we thought we had better visit one and see what all the fuss is about. 15 euro for us into the level with an extraordinary sauna network in a cave that was founded in Rome an times. There is a network of 150 metres in the cave.
After extensive showering and cleaning procedures you enter the complex tunnels where the humidity is 100 percent with air temperatures of between 38-42 Celsius.
You find a seat somewhere in the darkened chambers and sweat profusely. back out for showering before entering the jet pool. We did this cycle 3 times and decided we could not cope with a 4th session in the stunning and incredible cave.
We then caught up with Annie for coffee. We met her in Tasmania a few years ago when she was doing a ride around the state with Prickles. They are about to head off to ride together for 6 months! Annie is now based in Luchon.
On the way back to our accomodation we dropped into a small restaurant recommended by Lisette and Sumi. What an extraordinary hour we spent there.
Bruno is the owner and chef. He was very loud and very, very drunk. He was very keen to impart many thoughts with us. It was difficult to get away from him, but he had a kind heart and although he is jaded with the politics in France, terrorism and yearns to live in a chalet in the mountains, he is a good cook and we had a nice meal!!
So tomorrow we say au revoir to France as we are only 10-15 km from the Spanish border.