Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 9- Digne-les-bains to Barcelonnette

We started the day looking very forward to our arrival in Barcelonnette and a few days of rest. Digne les Bains was the last true Provencal city we would be in for days.  We were now entering into mountains with more of an alpine feel.  The mountains are bigger, steeper, more pines, and more rivers.  It was tougher but the temperatures were cooler and there was less humidity making the riding more enjoyable.  While I thought I loved the Provencal terrain and feel, the alpine terrain was more than welcome.  We followed the Bes river up a 3% average grade and a gorgeous canyon to Barles with  the col de Fanger in our sights, and lunch in Seyne on our mind.  Climbing was gentle and actually enjoyable as the scenery got greener and greener and again more alpine like.

The river "Clues de Barles", gorgeous canyon

Market in that cheese

                        Lac de Serre-Poncon

Our lunch stop in Seyne was short but we did manage a nice pizza “vegetrien”.  After lunch we climbed col St. Jean then descended the back side with picturesque views of Lac de Serre-Poncon. We then followed the Ubaye valley to our final destination.  Barcelonnette proved to be a great base camp for the next few days.  We felt like we were in a ski resort, which is what it is in the winter.  The tour will stop at the next town north, Jausiers this year so there was a buzz in the air especially at the local shops.

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