12 September 2017

Day 25 - What A Way To Break In New Helmets

10 Sept

The day started out windy. That's ok, we can handle that. As we had breakfast, the rain started and our hearts sank a little. A quick check of the weather radar and it looked to be clearing. By the time the bikes were set up and packed, the rain had stopped and we were on our way towards Grenoble and the French Alps. At a stop for a warming drink we watched the local weather report - clearing with snow at 2200m.

We neared the first pass the alps were looming large and the temperature was dropping. At the first stop part way up to look over the valley, Clint asked if the backrest could be removed as it was not letting him handle the bike as he would have liked. With piccies taken, backrest removed and safely stored in the top box, we dived back into the crowds of people making the ascent. We were on one of the stages of the Tour de France. The road was full of people on push bikes, in cars and even walking.

Down the other side, the road surface in places was patchwork or a little dusty. The road is only just wide enough. There aren't many if any guard rails. It was interesting to watch how we and a car coming from the opposite direction negotiated a passing manoeuvre while contending with a flock of sheep!

This section turned out to be a circuit for us as a rockfall had closed a road. Another way was found to take us to one of the famously twisty roads. Oh my! If the last one was narrow … Then there was Mt Vernier.
Mount Vernier Pass.  What a beauty.

17 back to back hairpins on a road only one car wide.

The next feature of our ride was to a man made construction. Along the side of the road near Modane there is a remnant of WWII, a bunker that rather than being destroyed in an attempt to blow it up, was blown out of the mine tunnel. Its placement is as it landed, tilted. We “walked” inside, laughing and sliding while trying desperately not to fall over.
This is how it landed and it has been left that way

Standing up is difficult.

Charleen's Matrix impersonation.

The next decision to make was whether or not to cross over into Italy at the top of the next pass. We chose Italy as this will be the tenth country we have been in, on this holiday.
The view from our Italian Hotel window.

There were lots of references to elephants along the way. Was this where Hannibal crossed?

We found a biker friendly hotel to stay in. Our first Italian meal! Spaghetti Carbonara and Tiramisu. Oh, it was good.

After dinner we walked around Susa. The clouds had mostly cleared and we could see the Big Dipper in the sky. Let's hope the clouds stay away. 

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