St. Jean-en-Royans to Crest - Poking Around Europe 6.0 - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2019

St. Jean-en-Royans to Crest

The Scenery Never Quits

We had another amazing day. The weather was perfect, the scenery was fantastic and the route straightforward. it was beautiful right from the start, and we were climbing right from the start. A manageable grade up to Col de Bacchus, but enough of a grade that we had plenty of time to look around. Then it was a swoop downhill with an uphill side trip in the middle. We did not get an early start, saying goodbye to our hosts at 10:45 AM. It was hard to leave. Here is how it went. 

The lovely family that hosted us at the Chambre d’hôte. Their eldest, who is five, was at school.
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The route was so breathtaking.  Keith took over a hundred photos today.  We had suggestions from our hosts about what not to miss on the route and the suggestions were terrific. 

The roadside flowers were amazing again today.
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Beauty everywhere we looked.
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We came down through that cut in the mountain yesterday.
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Our vintage sports car friends from yesterday. We recognized them and they recognized us and a lot of waving went on. This is not to be confused with the car rally we saw yesterday. No sign of them today.
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We are starting to feel like we are in the south of France 😎.
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A long way down!
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Just so beautiful.
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In the woods.
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There was a car about every hour or so. Seriously.
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Our first suggested stop was the Abbaye Cistercienne in Léoncel. We stopped and were stunned by how ancient it is. It dates from the early 1100’s. It also conveniently had a picnic table so this is where we stopped for lunch. It was the sort of thing we might have biked right by had our hosts not told us about it.

Very austere, very beautiful.
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We appreciated that all the interpretive signs were in English as well as French.
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The bell tower.
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A fantastic setting for a picnic.
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Then it was up and over the Col de Bacchus where we stopped for the obligatory summit photo. We had given serious thought to breaking out a bottle of wine here, but neither of us wanted to carry one up the hill. We started the swoop down. 

I think there should be a stash of wine and glasses here for cyclists. I couldn’t pose too close to the sign. There was an electric fence between us.
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Going down. Still no traffic.
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The pictures don’t do the views justice.
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It is so hard with pictures. We felt like we could see forever.
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There is a cross on top of this rocky face.
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Next stop was Gorges d’Omblèze. Again, this was a tip from our hosts. It was spectacular. So spectacular that although initially we had intended to just poke around the corner, at every corner we had to see what was around the next one, so we would go further to find another hairpin, more stunning views and down we would go. We ended up having coffee and an Orangina at the bottom of the gorge, by the river. Thus with me fortified by caffeine and Keith with sugar we nimbly climbed our way back out. 

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It was impossible not to keep going.
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At least we found sustenance at the bottom of the gorge.
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The patio is right on the river, and right at the bottom of the gorge.
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Back up top we started down towards Crest, still rarely seeing a car.
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Looking back across another gorge towards Gorges de Omblèze.
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Our last stop of the day was a small village that was amazing, Beaufort-sur-Gervanne. Ancient, unique and so much fun to explore. Another tip from our hosts.  

Our first view of the tiny town.
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There are rose bushes in full bloom everywhere in this part of France.
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They are gorgeous.
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A great spot to explore.
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Feeling very lucky indeed we cycled the last few km to Crest where we are in a beautiful property, Clos des Secrets. We are planning a short day tomorrow and some relaxing. Our legs feel like they deserve it. 

We headed out for a dinner which turned out to be very special. Crest is a great little city and we will explore before we leave in the morning. 

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Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 898 km (558 miles)

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
David MathersYou two have turned into a couple of mountain goats...well done! The Vercors is a very special place to cycle. By the way we also stayed at Clos des Secrets and loved Crest. You deserve a rest day!
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6 months ago