Had a pretty good sleep – was so tired after yesterday. It rained off and on, and there were four or five lighting flashes in very quick succession, but no thunder that I could hear. By the time I got up for morning tea in the van the sky was clearing nicely, although it was still a bit cool.
Went for a walk back down the hill a bit with Colin and the dogs – couldn’t believe the crowd that had gathered since we arrived yesterday – campervans and cars lining both side of the road in places and halfway down the hill back towards Chorges.
And – we have barriers and a banner! Back just a little way from where we’re camped is the summit of the first categorized climb of this stage (Col Lebraut/cat 3) and worth points for king of the mountains. We have 2 vans of gendarmes to keep us in check – good luck (ha ha).
Saw a small family that had a cat on a leash – don’t think that would have worked with either of my babies, but good for them. Luckily Colin’s dogs didn’t see the kitty – they go crazy enough barking when they see another dog, but a cat would have gotten special barks, I’m sure.
I decided to watch down by the end of the barriers, rather than in front of the van, so took my lawn chair and a book down to stake out my spot. I’m right next to a family – mom, dad, baby, small boy and grandpa. The calvacade passed around 11:30 or so – I didn’t take any pics this time because all of the ‘floats’ are the same – just tried to snag freebies. I could have gotten a nice blue hat that fell inside the barrier, but as soon as I stepped onto the road to go get it the nearest gendarme blew his whistle and scowled at me so I retreated back behind the white line – wouldn’t want to miss the race because I had been arrested or something! The woman next to me cleaned up catching stuff but I wasn’t quite as successful – most of what I got I gave to the little boy next to me, but it was still great fun – the crowd was really enthusiastic and totally into it.
The little family next to me had moved right behind the barrier (little boy on dad’s shoulders), and I let another photographer beside me so I was the second person after the barrier ended. At the last minute a young girl (one the the Spaniards camped right next to Colin and I) tried to stand right in front of us and we both said at the same time ‘no no no – photographers’, so she went across the road instead.
The riders were much more bunched up than on the Galibier, of course, and passed more quickly as the climb hadn’t been nearly as steep or long. I got several not bad shots of Froome and a few others – didn’t notice Quintana or Contador, but I took a lot of pics so they might be in them somewhere.
As soon as the last racer had passed, not that far behind the first ones, folks started to leave en masse. Banner was down in a matter of minutes, barriers being taken apart. I packed up my tent fairly quickly, and we were on the road ourselves within an hour or so. Traffic was a bit heavy until we passed thru Chorges, but after that not bad at all.
Headed west thru beautiful (what else?) mountains and valleys until we found a nice campsite at the town of Luc en Diois. Immediately set up the tent as the sky was very threatening, and it did start to rain before I was done, but got the basics covered and gear inside without getting everything soaked.
It rained so hard that the campsite’s ‘roads’ were more like creeks and I had to be very agile to jump over them all to get to the office where the wi-fi is.
Face-timed Dom for the first time since Sunday – he didn’t get my email from yesterday until I had logged in to this campsite’s wi-fi so was he very glad to hear from me. Had two emails waiting from siblings – Doug’s was ‘Dead?”, and one from Ross (for Susan and him).
Had a wonderful shower – first one in several days – and a great grilled steak dinner made by Colin. After dinner I got caught up a bit on posts, but was very tired and went to bed early. Still rained from time to time, but not like the deluge shortly after we arrived.