The morning started well with a nice breakfast, though I didn't take full advantage as I wanted to get going and make up for the slightly shortened day yesterday. I had a nice chat with a Canadian woman who had lived in NZ for 10 years.
I had thought about going over high road past le Semnoz, which started by the Youth Hostel but I decided that I avoid having to hard a start and the road to le Semnoz topped out at 1700m. In addition I was concerned about getting cold; my 'system' hadn't taken into account the rather bad weather of yesterday and today.
I followed the road along the West side of the lake from Annecy. It was quite a busy road but I wasn't on it for long. My chosen path took me up into the Massif de Bauges and the Col de Leschaux (897m). Soon the road started to mount but never became difficult; the weather even looked as if it was going to clear up, though that wasn't in my fate for today, for today at least. On the way up I caught clues of the magnificent mountains that surrounded me. I hope that I get to see them properly on the trip.
The South of the Massif was ChambÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©ry, the capital of the Savoie before it was annexed to France in 1860 or so. Later on during the trip I saw political posters and graffiti demanding independence for Savoie. I only stopped for lunch, though I imagine it would be pleasant to wander around.
From there I 'attacked' the Chartreuse range. This was more challenging. The first col, du Granier, was an 800m climb. The weather returned to form as I went up it, though a few times the Sun came out to tease me. Along the way there were some nice views of Mont Granier looming 800m above. The way down was cold. I regretted not bringing my waterproof pants.
At the bottom I thought of bailing and finding a hotel, but I knew that I wouldn't be happy until I had some kms in the 'bank', meaning cycling more than 100km. I had a long day ahead if I wanted to catch 2 stages of the Tour de France, at Courchevel and the Col de Galibier, as planned. I needed to get used to distance. So I soldiered on. At the top of the next col, right beside it, was a cute hotel. It seemed to good to be true, I stopped. 15 minutes later I was soaking blissfully in a bath. Unfortunately I suspect that there were bedbugs, as I found what look like bites around my shoulders.
Distance - 105km
Time - 7:10
Max Altitude ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 1147m
Tot. Ascent ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 2624m
Col de Leschaux - 897m
Col du Granier ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 1134m
Col du Cucheron ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 1139m