Day 90: Valloire –to Briançon

Saturday July 2, 2005, 69 km (43 miles) – Total so far: 5,299 km (3,293 miles)

The Col du Galibier, what a hill to end our week in the French Alps. Having climbed the Télégraphe yesterday we were already fairly high, so we only had a further 1,200m to climb to the summit. The climb was very similar in both appearance and length to Iseran but was probably a little steeper.

Its presence in almost every Tour de France means the Col du Galibier is very popular with cyclists, it was very busy at the summit, we met some Aussies, Americans and English riders all queuing for photos in front of the famous altitude sign at the top.

Then it was literally all downhill from Galibier to the Col du Lautaret some 650 meters below and on to Briançon at 1,200m. We had a bit of difficulty finding the campsite, a wrong turn having sent us back up a mountain, but we’ve eventually got the tent up and are looking forward to a couple of days of rest. The campsite at Briançon is a little way out of town in a small pine forest. Pines always smell amazing in the sunshine. I like it here.

Outside the church in Valloire, we ate breakfast on the bench to the left

Outside the church in Valloire, we ate breakfast on the bench to the left

At the foot of the climb of Galibier

At the foot of the climb of Galibier

The road follows the stream for the first few kms

The road follows the stream for the first few kms

Sheep at the foot of the Col du Galibier

Sheep at the foot of the Col du Galibier

There were plenty of cyclists at the summit of the Col du Galibier

There were plenty of cyclists at the summit of the Col du Galibier

The memorial to Henri Desgrange, the founder of the Tour de France. The Col du Galibier was his favourite mountain

The memorial to Henri Desgrange, the founder of the Tour de France. The Col du Galibier was his favourite mountain

A glacier on the descent of the Col du Galibier

A glacier on the descent of the Col du Galibier

The Col du Lautaret

The Col du Lautaret

The Col du Lautaret, at 2058 meters it would have been one of our highest climbs, had we not descended to it from Galibier

The Col du Lautaret, at 2058 meters it would have been one of our highest climbs, had we not descended to it from Galibier

All the roundabouts in Briançon had been decorated with giant bicycles for the Tour de France

All the roundabouts in Briançon had been decorated with giant bicycles for the Tour de France

Our campsite in Briançon

Our campsite in Briançon

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