Travel-blog7

Hi All
Come join us for week 7 of our travels. It is a great week and starts off with a deviation from our tour guide plan. This was helped by a bit of surveillance work on a rare day off to check out some of the Tarn Gorge. The choice was simple. Do we go chasing Col’s along exposed ridge tops with a whole lot of up and down? Or do we choose the flat scenic route cruising up the beautiful, stunning Tarn Gorge? We chose wisely and if you get the chance this is one part of France you have o check out.

At Point Sublime about to drop into the Tarn Gorge. Frankly Were quite relaxed at this point.

Frankly Were trying to force a smile but actually shit scared. Frankly Were stuck out on a ledge and there's a 1,000 m drop straight down to the bottom of the gorge at Point Sublime.

At this point Frankly Were thinking a French Bulldog bitch is fine. We had a bit of fun at Kiwis expense. As we moved away the huge vulture circled closer, within 20m as it figured that kiwi on the menu could be a taste of all right. 'Hey guys - you aren't going to leave me here are you'.

Frankly Were checking out this speck on a rock wall. What is it?

It's a guy free climbing straight up with nothing more than a few pitons for security

Louise not totally convinced about no earthquakes in France cracks on the pace

Some more great rocks

One of the several cool tunnels biking along the Tarn

More impressive rock formations in the Tarn Gorge. Frankly Were - mines bigger than yours.

Louise on the bridge at Malene

Another cute little shot along the Tarn

Louise contemplating renovations at Baldhill

Frankly Were pretty keen on staying at this little Chateau

Another cute Village across the Tarn with the only way in a Flying Fox or via a kayak.

Frankly Were impressed with a little Village across the Tarn Gorge

A look at the Village of Ste Enemie on the way in.

Enjoying a lunch break under the bridge at Ste Enemie

Kiwi checking out more trout at Ste Enimie

Louise enjoying the scenery along the Tarn on the way up to Le Pont de Montvert

Le Pont de Montvert up over 800m and with the Tarn river flowing through. Definitely cool and extremely refreshing for a swim. For some reason was not a taker on his one.

At Le Pont de Montvert we were on the Pilgrim pathway and here is a guy doing it in traditional style with a donkey trying to find a fuel station with grass. This hotel was a classic Faulty Towers and lots of laughs.

A day off so yours truly decides on a ride to the top of Mont de Finiels at 1699m. A bit off road near the top but the bike managed to make it. Also a bit off road on the way down to cut 20km off the round the mountain circuit. Louise went walkabout on some other Mont.

Another view from top and Kiwi reckons with the height of the stone he has easily topped 1700m.

Frankly Were enjoying the company of some French bulls.

Broom flowering better here than gorse back in NZ

More views

Kiwi enjoying more views over the Lozere

Close to the source of the Tarn

This is about the only almost nice Col we have met. We started the day only 200m in height below and it was followed by an 800m drop over around 15km.

A nice quiet place for lunch in shade by a stream. Coming down off the ranges the hot, dry and much different landscape of the Mediterranean has kicked in.

Spot the 2 kiwis

Kiwi - 1, Zee nazty French snake - 0

A Kiwi and French chick celebrating a local bike race

A Village celebrating a local bike race

More villages celebrating a local bike race

Canoe ramps to get people down the Weirs on the Ardeche

Frankly Were hot so it's time for a swim at the Ardeche river in Ruom. On the right good sized trout were cruising along.

Our digs at Ruoms. Bit of a plan review - do we head up and meet a whole lot of Cols at around 1300m and cover over 100km? Or do we cruise down to a bar to watch AB's vs France. Follow this with a 65km short cut along a quiet, peaceful valley with a maximum climb of 540m. What a tough call.

Frankly Were celebrating a great AB try and on their way to a 30 - 0 victory

The French crew joined us celebrating an All Black try. This guy was on his Stag do and had been up until 6.00am and then up again at 8.00am. Straight down to the bar with his mates for a quiet one and to watch the match. Gracious losers and enjoyed Frankly Were's company.

Pink Chicks in Ruoms busking for funds for a girls weekend. Told them to go and call in on Nigel at 15 Baldhill Rd, Mauku NZ.

Riding along next to the Ardeche River not even thinking we could be living in Christchurch. Louise goes racing past. Awesome road.

What the??? Kiwifruit growing in France. Noticed quite a few kiwifruit vines growing in back yard gardens also.

A good solution from Ruoms to Vals les Bains. A cross and seat at the highest point, the height not much over 500m. Over the ridge cherry trees loaded with scrummy fruit ripe for the picking by the Kiwi Cherry thief.

Louise taking time out to smell the flowers on the descent into Vals les Bains.

A genuine pilgrim follower with his 2 donkeys off to the north west coast of Spain. Heaps of people now do this walk or parts of it starting from various parts in France.

Leaving Vals les Bains zig zagging through yet another market day. A great concept with every village required to have at least one per week. A nice enough start to a big day out.

The French love their cycling and all the villages got in behind the local events. Here one smart cyclist is heading downhill while one dumb bastard heads up.

Taking a half hour hike to enjoy the falls in the volcanic region along the way.

Louise thumbs up with loving these hills. Frankly Were not complaining - why would he - the little bastard hadn't pushed a pedal all day. Talk about a free loader.

Cool bell tower at our lunch stop in a small Village called Lachamp Raphael. Nice day but this was on top of a ridge with no shelter for miles so winter could be a different story.

Louise getting over Col.

Meet another frigging Col - I think those were close to Louises words.

An amazing volcanic peak towards the end of the day after having started off not much above sea level. It was so amazing quite Frankly Louise couldn't give a continental about climbing it.

Damn pleased to have arrived at Le Lac d'Issarles. At this precise point I think Peter England, who was the guy that sent Louise the tour map, was also pleased he was not with us. Louise would not have had him living for much longer. While it was only 75km, less than 10 was close to flat and no more than another 10 was devoted to downhill. The good news for all you guys is that taking a girl on a bike trip is a great handbrake for shopping.