July 20 – Thursday

Didn’t sleep much between the wind, rain and talkative folks down the way. It was still drizzling when I took the tent down – left the fly intact until the last so the tent wouldn’t get too wet. The fly is dripping, the tent and ground-cover aren’t bad, but all will need airing/drying out before I setup again.
Got on the road around 9 trying to get to Embrun for Friday’s stage, but got stuck in Briancon when they wouldn’t let us thru to the highway because today’s stage is starting here. Ended up pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot to use their loo and get the free wi-fi. Since we were forced to stay in the city we walked the dogs down to see the start of the stage. Found a nice park that was full of people so knew we were on the route.
Unfortunately we had already missed the cavalcade so just waited about 3/4 of an hour for the race to come by. As the time approached the fence between the park and the road got more and more crowded, so I picked my spot and waited. First a couple of young boys, then another and then another squeezed in to my left – by the time the riders came by it was 3 people thick and I could barely get pics past the frantically waving hands of the boys – they were very excited and enthusiastic!
The racers went by in no time – not really racing, of course until they get out of the city and I did get a couple of nice shots of the leadout line.

Afterwards we walked back up the McD’s, and I took out my wet stuff to dry on the big rocks at the edge of the parking lot. A Sky van pulled in and Colin told me to ask for a water-bottle or something, so I did – the driver was in a hurry to get some food, but said he’d be back in a few minutes. I went up to use their loo again – the place was absolutely packed, but the Sky driver came back with a huge bag of burgers and fries, and gave me an authentic Sky water bottle!

My camping stuff was about dry, so we hit the road again just after 2 for Embrun, which is at the north end of a large lake (Lac de Serre Poncon) that reminded me of Okanagan lake, then followed tomorrow’s Tour course to pick our next watching spot.
We ended up just past the crest of the first hill – there’s a nice wide spot right on the side of the road where I can see the lake below from my tent. There’s quite a few other campervans and folks are walking up and down the road and stopping to say hi.

A couple of French men came by and started talking to us. They thought it was quite funny that I was over here for six months (with another man!!) while my husband was home with the cats. When I pointed out that I live in the tent and Colin in the van with the dogs they just laughed and walked away.

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