Monday, July 14, 2008

Villard-de-Lans, Goulets, et Pont-en-Royen

This post is long overdue. Last weekend of June, Eniko and I set out for a day in the mountains- the Vercors. We met at the Gare with our cycles and got on a bus to Villard de Lans. We could take our cycles with us for no extra charge, just had to put them into the baggage compartment underneath the bus.

Villard de Lans is high up in the Vercors mountain range. We started our bike ride here and followed the road downhill. We were on the roads meant for the regular traffic and not a biking path, so we had cars driving along side and the drivers are quite nice about cyclists-they waited for us to move to the side and also slowed down to let us navigate the sharper turns without rushing past us. The roads in some places were cut into the rocks and the rocks formed a ledge over the road.

Riding in the mountains was awesome. Many times we were at the edge of the cliff and was a bit scary to see the valley just beyond the edge of the road.

At some points, we were high above the valley and at other times we were close to the river below.

Down hill was always super awesome but uphill killed by legs. I had to stop every now and then and if it wasn't for Eniko, I would still be up those mountains.

Along the way, we rode through small tunnels- petit goulets. We had seen pictures of the goulets online and they were our main motivation for undertaking this ride.

Can you spot me on the bridge in the picture below ?? :P

I was terribly famished at one point and we stopped for beers at a small place on the way.

That is enika and me a little high and enjoying a bit of gossip :D

For some reason, the bails of hay in the farms on the hillsides, fascinate me to no extent.

The grand goulets was something we really wanted to ride through but it was closed and we had to ride through this long tunnel alongside the goulets instead. It was quite something riding through it, the noise from the cars was soo loud and a little frightening.

The road was very steep downhill from here and we had to tighten my breaks as I felt I would fly over the ledge into the valley while navigating the hair pin turns.

Our next destination was Pont-en-Royans, a small town overlooking a river. The houses are built into the cliffs and the balconies suspended dangerously over the river.

We stopped for some beer at a cafe on the bridge overlooking the river...can you see the umbrellas of the cafe in the picture below?

The view from the bridge was even better and you can see how the water was so clear and clean.
Try spotting the man mid air in the picture below....diving into the water from the edge of the cliff.
We then continued on the last leg of our journey to the city of Saint Marcellin, where we got on a bus heading back to Grenoble- tired and happy with our adventures for the day. We had cycled more than 42km that day.

Here is the link to the map that outlines the route we took :)

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