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.