Côte des Gets (1,165m)
Breakfast that morning was as plentiful and delicious as dinner last night. Being in France, the coffee and pastries were especially on point. Inventively, I managed to somehow cram a croissant filled with ham and cheese into the toaster at the buffet breakfast. The impatient annoyance of the other guests at my monopolisation of the machine quickly subsidised into jealousy when they saw and smelt the delicious creation.
The hotel was halfway up a climb, so to warm up in the in the low hanging clouds which greeted us after rolling out from the reception, we ascended to the summit. At the top there were cars and vans everywhere, very busy for 9am on a Sunday I thought. Turns out it was a mountain bike competition. Also at the top was this amazing paragliding launch pad, and with the low clouds genuinely looked like the edge of the world!
A nice descent down to the bottom of the valley on quiet roads took us to Cluses and I started recognising bits and pieces from another adventure over the Route des Grande Alpes a couple of years ago. It was really awesome seeing those places again. We paused for a quick brunch at a nearby supermarket (genuinely forgotten how good French bread was!)
The Col de Gets, the last climb of our entire trip and we went as hard as our exhausted legs could manage, I think about 300w average for 45 mins or so. It didn't count though as I missed the Col sign because of a diversion through the town of Les Gets for another MTB event! (Col signs are like Pokemon: gotta catch em all)
Long and shallow descending as a group after Morzine, down the long stretch of road to Lac Leman and Thonon-le-bains sprawling out infront of us.
After a few good photos by the fountain in the square we checked into the same hotel we'd stayed in on the RDGA trip. Sitting in the shade of the hot day, we sipped well deserved beers and talked about our favourite (and least favourite) parts of the odyssey while listening to big jazz orchestras playing recognisable songs and theme tunes across the square from us.
Before we'd set off from the plateau, Timb didn't have his saddle bag on his bike.
"Timb... Where's your pack?"
"Yeah, ditched it. F*** it" he said in his hilariously matter of fact manner. Same destiny as his long since abandoned flip flops.
So after the rest of us came down from the rooms washed and changed, Timb came down washed... Barefoot and in wet bike clothes!
We had quite a walk around town looking for somewhere to eat. We came upon the bronze shield which marks the start of the Route des Grande Alpes where a few of us had set out on another incredible journey. I'm not ashamed to admit that with a few pints in me and the nostalgia of seeing it made me well up with tears.
We eventually went to a pizzeria and ordered.
I think something got lost in translation when we asked the waiter for 4 of the 7 pizzas to be vegan... Three of them came with massive slabs of ham on them! Not all of the vegans were there, so me and Phil were desperately extracting and devouring the ham from the "vegan" pizzas and rearranging the toppings before the remaining vegans returned!
Managed it without a second to spare. Panic over; got away with it.
Before we retired we had one last ice cream down on the shores of the lake, basking in the sunset and watching the people go by, soaking up the happy and festive atmosphere.
Felt sorry for Timb though, walking all around town barefoot and lycra clad!
Justin's Strava for the day...