Monday, 8 July 2013

Day 38 (8/7) - Col du Tourmalet!

Reuben and the boys were up early to tackle the Col du Tourmalet. The 5 km warm up to the base was a lot more challenging than they expected. The the 17 km climb starts out Ok at a tough but manageable 7% average but the last 6 km are a brutal 9-10%. Grunting like a stuck pig and still coughing up buckets of phlegm the eventual relief at the summit was tremendous. After a quick espresso amongst the snow drifts (a harsh contrast to the 30+ degrees in the valley below) we descended hitting a respectable but not outlandish 83 km/h. Next time I'm wearing my GoPro!

The plan was to drive to Bordeaux and spend two days wine tasting however our fridge stopped working in the morning. We followed the other guys to Bordeaux but instead of spending the night in a winery we parted ways and headed to a caravan park on the outskirts of the town itself. Reuben was exhausted from his morning ride and the long drive, we got stuck in peak hour traffic, missed our exit and ended up on the wrong side of town and to top things off the first caravan park was full. But in the end we found another one with a nice green and shady spot, all the amenities close by and a lovely restaurant on site.

At the summit, feeling the burn.

The view down the far side of the Col du Tourmalet.

The Col du Tourmalet summit greeting party :D
Caramalised Foie Gras, Mmmmmmmmmm.