I was up early this morning but i set to doing my blog as I was still trying to get up to date. I had had a terrible nights sleep. It was absolutely boiling and we obviously had no air con. There was a window that we could open but this had two problems.
1. The noise from the street behind our apartment.
2. The squawking kid in the apartment next door whose window was at a right angle to ours. I don’t mind kids but whining and crying constantly when you are hot and bothered does not make good sleep conditions. It’s different if its your own of course.
I sorted my blog and began to clean the apartment and get ready to,leave while up loading the best of the photos from the day before for my blog. This was because I really wanted The Cyclist to put them on for me before we left as the Internet speed was really good. I took all the bags to the car and was ready to go by 8 am ish. We also had to get the bikes out of the locked storage and put them on the car so in the end we didn’t actually pull away from the appt until 8.50am
This meant that we didn’t set off from the start until 9.15am. This never happened in Italy. we were out by 8am every day regardless of the time we arrived. what is going on? I have to admit that I felt awful all day today. Tne Cyclist seemed to me to be cycling slower. I drew up alongside and asked if he was ok. he said he was feeling tired and that his leags were very very heavy. Oh dear. I did not massage his legs after the Mont Ventoux marathon day, nor did I do them yesterday. I should have. That is one of my jobs after all. Instead I had asked him to take me back up the mountain, done huge amounts of pasta (enough for three days of a few bowls a day) and done my blog. I feel really guilty as I am supposed to be looking after him. I hardly rubbed his legs in Italy and I have done it almost every day here but I think that leaving for Corsica only 2weeks and 2days after finishing The Giro must be starting to make itself felt. I will do them tonight. Give them a good going over as there is only a time trial tomorrow.
We head towards Mont Ventoux again. I did wonder if the Cyclist was looking feeling thankful he hadn’t got to go up it again, but after he said that it was ok and didn’t know what all te fuss was about, I guess not. We are going around te bottom of Ventoux, but the other side. There was a helicopter that kept going up towards Ventoux, hovered then moved away to do it again. I asked the Cyclist if he thought it was practising for next weeks Le Tour and he said yes. That is what I thought too.
I was getting really concerned about my fuel levels now. The light had been on for a while and it now said only 30miles left. As I have mentioned before I get really really freaky about tyre pressures and fuel levels. I discussed this with Mm_Scimitar and Nanakatz and interestingly MM_Scimitar is with me on this one. Or more likely is that I follow him. Nanakatz is of the mindset of The Cyclist – “ah, what are you worried about there is miles left yet!”
I had hoped that we would go through towns as we normally do but we left normal roads and have been well off the beaten track with no horse hamlets. Absolutely beautiful scenery but no good if you need fuel. I had passed one fuel stop in one village. It was called top garage but was one lumens and had thre vehicles waiting somI passed. At this point I am regretting this Big Style as there was a big climb to do. Bugger bugger bugger. At the top of the climb I stopped to take photos of the Cyclist, especially at the sign that gives the height of the pass. Across from the pass sign we were taking was the sign for another pass. It was called Col of the Dead Man! Mmmm. So glad we aren’t going up there then!
The cyclist sped on down the other side like a thing possessed and I just pootled on after him. By know I had asked the sat navs to search for fuel stops so I could see if there were any along the way. There was. I got down the mountain and eventually found where the fuel stop should be. I missed it first time it was so small and ended up smack In front of a barrier saying road closed. The TDF flags were still pointing that they could go through the deviation and I just knew that The Cyclist would have cycled through. I got the fuel then went along the deviation.
Oh My God! Who puts a deviation on a road like this. Oh I know, the French! It had trouble written all over it. It was a tiny farm type tack that was only the width of one vehicle. 90% of it there was a ditch either side and unless you wanted to end up sideways in it you kept your eyes on the road. Not long into the deviation I came across two lorries, a car and a huge caravanette coming the other way. Carnage. Unfortunately they didn’t all come at the same time. Some shifting about and some swearing later I got back to where I should have been on the main road. Now I needed to cane it to catch the cyclist. After about 20Km I did. He was OK but wanted a sandwich. I stopped just after on the side of the road to do it. I was just finishing when The Cyclist came back along the road. Oh No, now what is wrong?
He told me that one of the TDF in a small group, had a puncture. I was to stop doing what I was doing right now and drive to them so they could use our pump. I did, but not before I got him to eat one sandwich. They were a really nice group of 4 young ish guys (younger than me anyway). In the conversation they said I was amazing for following the cyclist around washing kit each night, etc (you know the drill by now) one asked if I’d marry him! Ah. They all were smiling when I said I did the leg massages too and they all wanted a go. I did say that the Cyclist had suggested I set up a business offering my services to Cyclists, to follow them, massage and take pictures of them. these 4young chaps were asking about The Cyclist’s job and had he given up his job to do the 3 Tours. I told them that after a ride he logs on with WiFi and works on his own website and on he sites of his clients, answering their emails too. They were impressed with this I think. I have noticed that no one asks bout my job or if I work. I’m sure they think I am the little woman who is a housewife. Ooh if only. I know what we do, CBR Princess, The Boss, Mrs G+T, The Curly Skipper, Scottish Biker, Vixen and I. We help keep the wheels of the Government and the UK turning actually.
Once I had got to the group of TDF The Cyclist flew and left me to it. No stops he said. Once I left the TDF guys and started along the route I noticed Cows in a feild. some were lying down and some were standing. So I would like to know what Mrs G+T has to say about this? I hadn’t heard it but she to,d my that they lay down if it is going to rain. Since then I have watched and I think here may be some truth in this theory?
Once I caught up with The Cyclist I asked about food and told him I needed milk as we didn’t have any at all. The Cyclist said definitely no supermarket tonight so in the next town I popped into the Super U. I also got the Bambino some clothes. The brand was Absorba which I used to get for The Angels from a little designer shop called Mrs Gloucester, when thy were Bambino’s themselves. Ah. It took me down memory lane. Now to catch him again. Unfortunately when te machine is in full force he is difficult to catch. I went past two TDF food stops and still no signs.
I knew we had to go into the city of Gap and out again to to do the last mountain. My sat navs were telling me different roads as I was entering Gap and just then I got a call from the Cyclist. He said he was in a bus stop on the way out of Gap. He had seen some TDf arrows so he said that if I followed them I should get to him. Great. Easy then. Not. I saw arrows and disregarded my sat navs to follow these.It was rush hour in a French City oh joy! Then I came to an island junction. Oh god. No arrows and two sat nav’s telling me different ways. The last words The Cyclist said were ” I expect to see you in a minute then”. This was said in a way that only as know what this means. oh the pressure. Which way? I hadn’t got a flipping clue. He said we had been down the road he was on before but I didn’t remember being in Gap lat alone any of its streets. I was in the right lane that was an automatic right turn so aim was committed. I thought this had disaster written all over it. There were lines of traffic in both directions. What is that? That is the Cyclist up there. Hoorah.
He said he thought we needed to go straight on and asked if we were doing a loop back to Gap. I said yes and off we set. Before long he said ” I think,we may be doing this back to front. I checked the itinerary and I said yes we were, did he want to go back. Not now. We were too far along and committed. So up what I think was the steeper side, we went. This is the most busy mountain track I have ever been on. At the top I was taking the Cyclists photo and he told me to move along bait. I got back in the car and felt a tickling on my legs. Argh. My right leg had loads of huge ants crawling all over it. I steamed my foot in the footwell and then jumped out the car. I was stamping my foot and jumping around. I really hate creepy crawlies.
I told The Cyclist and I began to try to squish the ones that I had shook off in the footwell. there were loads. a lot more than I had originally thought. They were nearly 1cm long with a Red back. I took the other photo after and got back in the car to go down the mountain. Oh God, there was something crawling on my left foot. i looked down. it was an ant. I thought I had got the blighters. I kept looking down but Imwas also going down a mountain after the Cyclist. I stopped as I knew that was the safe thing to do. I got out the car and there were 3 still fully functional. I took off my sandal and began trying to get them. But it wasn’t only those, the ones I had tried to get before were stil. moving. one was in half but was still pulling itself along. Bloddy Heel. Wont these things things die! smack smack. I am itching all over even writing this. I have 2 bites on me leg I am sure are from them.
Our Hotel is a Chalet with typical pine walls and furniture, just like the ones I stayed in on family holidays back in the day. At ths point I would like o say that as a teenager all the other kids at school were going off n planes for a week or two in Spain and it sounded so good; warm sun etc. But I was going on touring holidays, one time covering 8 countries in 2 weeks. My favourites were the city of Salzburg, Neuschwanstein Castle (used in Disneys Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and the country of Yugoslavia (no more) especially Bled.
I would have liked to include a picture of the Neuschwanstein Castle as I have just googled it and it took my breath away as it has been many a year since I have seen it and for some of you, you may not have had the pleasure of being there in the flesh. Pleas google it and take a look for yourself.
The Boss should be impressed as I am convinced that he is more German that Lancashire. Anyway my point is that I would not swap those touring holidays and the things we saw for any 2 weeks on a Spanish beach. Today the TDF guys with the puncture commented that at least I was getting to see France. I would concur. I am, albeit very fleetingly. But I don’t care. I love this country.
Don’t you worry child – Sweedish House Maffia (the choice of the Sports Therapist)
Stefan wremble – Bistro Fada album
Don’t you want me – Human League
Dancing with tears in my eyes – Ultravox
Dancing with the Captain – Paul Nicholas