We awoke to another beautiful day. Blue skies. First to breakfast 😳.
The roads were busy and after we cleared the first few km we started climbing on a decent cycle path, on the verge of the main road.
As you can see from the graph below, most of our climbing today was done in the first 28 km.
At the top of the first climb the land really opened up. The area is known as the Bauges Valley.
We descended through a Gorge, Les Gorges du Cheran, and there was an interesting 75 metre length bridge, Pont de l’ Abime. Literally translated, this means Abyss Bridge. It was built in 1887 to link the villages of Cusy and Gruffy.
After another shorter climb the land flattens again.
I had to get a photo here, I loved the name of this village. The French do not pronounce it like we would in English.
Numerous villages are badged Village Fleurie. It is a French contest organised annually aiming to encourage communes to adopt and implement policies that improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and enhance their attractiveness to visitors. Communes are awarded the right to display a badge with one to four flowers depending upon their annual result.
As we get higher there are signs that we are about to see some really nice mountains.
After that final climb to 751 metres we started descending. We do not stop as the traffic is fast and we are more concerned with holding our line and staying safe.
The traffic in central Annecy is chaos. We head straight to the lake thinking it will be really relaxing to ride around.
The lake is certainly beautiful, but seriously I have never seen as many people on bikes ever! There is a literal conga line/queue. All ages and skill levels.
It is very slow (ie 15 kmh and less), lots of braking as people weave around, and then you get some Ritchie Porte wannabes overtaking in both directions.
The views were great and Tony took a few photos on the fly.
A fair way down the lake, we pulled over for refreshments. We spent about an hour here. The next three photos are from our lunch spot.
We made a clean getaway from lunch, a temporary reprieve from the conga line.
Noticing many parachutes in the skies, we headed off track to have a better look as many were landing in a nearby field. The picture below does not show them but around the top of the mountain there are maybe 20 plus people just hanging around.
Heading back towards Annecy in our continuing anti clockwise route, the crowds cycling picked up again, but on a narrower path. The views were just glorious and there were more opportunities to pull over.
There was a nasty little climb thrown in for good measure too. Steep with cycle path hair pin bends, where collections of younger youth stood (the worst spot possible is to take up all the space on a narrow, steep hairpin). Cuss and curse.
We were delighted to get off our bikes at our accomodation. The bikes are very very safe tonight.
After showering and washing our gear, we followed a canal/creek into centre ville but were overwhelmed with the crowds.
We have since found out that yesterday was a French public holiday and that it is common practice to also take the Friday off, making a four day break. Hence the crowds.
We will retire earlier tonight as whilst tomorrow is only 80 km, it is our Queen stage, where we climb to Morzine. About 1700 m climbing in the 80 km.
We bought some items for our dinner and returned to eat in our room, and chill. Tony has cleaned the bikes whilst I have been doing this blog.
Thanks for reading, stay safe, smile on 😊