Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Col de la Cayolle

Another nice easy cycle ride I thought!!With a height gain of  1440 only to climb. Heading out of  Barcelonnette you find the Col de la Cayolle. Named as one of the Top 30 most beautiful cycle rides. The scenery was certainly stunning the light seemed brighter as it does in Provence, herbs of Rosemary and Thyme and fragrant Pines lined the way up the gorge.

We passed through a pretty mountain hamlet with a welcome bar, church and row of washing drying along the road side. A wonderful happy elderly lady crossing the road with a tray full of drinks for thirsty riders. I've later sadly read that she serves delicious homemade Ravioli, we just had a Coco cola!!

Following a gorge with deep ravines turquoise clear water splashing by. Next come grand old bridges with room for just one car and vertigo drops either side.We were amazed to see a bus come down the steep pass.

The gradients start to increase through the open pastures.Cycling past a herd of Sheep and Goats shaded  under trees with a large guard dog watching protectively.

A final bridge is reached gradients I'm sure of 9% make the last few kilometres seem hard work. Plenty of happy cyclists passing giving words of support in between gasps of breath.
A fine climb. The city of glamour 'Nice'  was signposted at the top a mere 70 miles below on the other side.

A super descent with great tarmac, not much traffic on this beautiful col that clings to the ravine zig -zaging back to Barcelonnette for a well earned glass of wine.

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