Valloire to St. Jean-de-Maurienne: A Day of Active Rest - French Alps 2017 - CycleBlaze

June 10, 2017

Valloire to St. Jean-de-Maurienne: A Day of Active Rest

We were the only guests at the chalet in Valloire last night. In ski season, they likely house 100 guests per night and with the upcoming HOG rally, they were bracing for a busy time. In any event, they put on a full buffet for our petit dejeuner which we ate out on the patio in the morning sun.

View from our chalet in Valloire.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The chalet is considered a group gite, but they put us up in their new apartment building.
Heart 0 Comment 0

We had one col on today's ride, the col du Telegraphe. Lucky for us, we were approaching it from the top so we had a short ascent as we left Valloire before plunging down to the valley floor at St. Michel de Maurienne.

Looking back on Valloire and its ski slopes.
Heart 0 Comment 0
At the summit of the Col du Telegraphe.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Hay art to show admiration of the cycling tourism industry here.
Heart 0 Comment 0

It was a gorgeous twisty descent through a forest with plenty of new pavement. Being Saturday, there was a steady stream of riders heading to the Galibier on their carbon fiber bikes. I have to mention that I saw only two women among the entire entourage tackling the climb. This is not a female sport over here.

Once in the valley we stopped for coffee, then hopped back on the bikes for the final few kms to St, Jean-de-Maurienne. This turned out to be the least pleasant stretch of road on our entire tour. They have squeezed an autoroute, a major D road and a busy set of train tracks into the very narrow canyon next to the river, the Arc. We put the pedal to the metal and made short order of it.

As we arrived in St. Jean, their Saturday market was wrapping up and the whole town began their lunch break. Our hotel had advertised that we could get our room at 12:30 and we could do laundry there but when we arrived, the napkin taped to the door said they'd be back at 4pm. The tourist info and its costume museum were shut for the day and the town seemed deserted so we purchased some picnic food at the supermarche and headed for a park where we spent the afternoon.

Street in St. jean de Maurienne. Walk where you want, when you want.
Heart 0 Comment 0

At 4pm, we were checked in to the hotel by an very upbeat and energetic fellow who helped us get our laundry going. Soon, we headed off on foot in search of refreshments and dinner which we found only a 10 minute walk away.

Cafe Gourmand is always a delicious end to dinner.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Over dinner we studied our route for tomorrow, over the iconic Col de la Croix de Fer. The 30km climb begins right at our hotel, so it feels a little intimidating to say the least. But that's a concern for tomorrow and now it was time for sleep.

Today's ride: 33 km (20 miles)
Total: 1,016 km (631 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0