This place is owned by Tour De France followers at this time of year. Cyclists living the dream, tackling the same mountains that the Tour De France pros do. It’s a bucket list trip for many. I love the vibe and today I got to hang out with The ProSport Tour De France as support crew. They are tackling the famous Alp d’Huez, a mountain with 21 killer hair pin bends over grueling gradients. The alps in the background are nothing less than spectacular.
Tim flies up in 56 minutes, the rest of the crew arrive in good times, with huge smiles, feeling good. The efforts, commitment, love of what they do is impressive.
We hang out in the village for coffee, lunch and a little shopping. It’s a ski village vibe. I buy a “Queen of the Mountains” t-shirt. Ok, so maybe I didn’t do the bike climb, but I’m feeling like the Queen of the Mountains every day on my hikes. No guilt.
We leave the ProSport crew to cruise home on various routes. We head back via Reculas on the most spectacular road. Jaw dropping views all round from a narrow windy road. This is the road for cyclists who want the Alps descent experience without the terrifying speeds on the 21 hairpin road. I’m so excited to add this into our 2018 itinerary.
We get back to Venosc to drop off gear. Support crew job done for the day!
It’s a beautiful day and there’s still time to explore. We dump the car and jump in the TeleCabin to Les De Alpes. The plan was to get the next Telecabin to the summit to see the glacier, (and have a glass of champagne at 3,200m!) which needed a speedy dash through the village to get there before the cable cabins closed down. I did an impressive dash only to find the glacier had been closed for the day. 75km hour winds! Note to self for the future…. check the conditions!
So we settled for some ice cream and retail therapy. Buying a huge caramel ice cream led me to an intro to the most friendly shopkeeper in the village. As an ex-retailer I can spot a genuine, passionate trader instantly. Lionel ticked all the boxes showing us around his superb gourmet food and liqueur shop. This is the place for chocolate, nougat, teas, and so many other delicious treats. I had to tear myself away!
It was nice to give the hiking boots a rest for the day, but I can’t wait to get back out there. After a day of traffic, crowds, and retail, I appreciate the simple beauty of the hiking trails and mountain huts that have become my norm. Forever grateful.