Col de Prat de Bouc
Delicate English complexion
After the climb up the Pas de Peyrol, the purchase of a new sleeping mat and the Coke Cola experience, I was all set for a quieter day.
Two climbs were within spitting distance of the campsite, so throw down a quick breakfast and go.
The Col du Prat de Bouc was the toughest, rated 4/10 while the Col d’ Entremont has a 1/10 rating.
I will take on the tougher one first, typical Massif Central gradients average 6% so nice.
The hot early morning sun meant it was SPF50 for the delicate English complexion today.
The Bouc is another ski station summit, although it only boasts a café, a sports shop, and an information centre.
Not quite the bright light metropolis of Super-Besse and better for it in my eyes.
The climb was, as expected, with a few lumps and bumps tempting you to rise out of the saddle to maintain tempo.
Halfway up, though, a sudden quick dip presented itself.
I saw the wall in front of me and pedalled hard, hoping to coast up, but not quite.
Just fading at the top, I resorted to a ‘slick’ crunch through the gears.
I maintained momentum as the 6% returned.
After a few more rises, the top was in view with sunny, blue skies, and glorious views.
I’ve still got it
What else could I wish for?
Ah ha, an unsuspecting pair out for a walk and voila!
Wishes do come true!! My photo.
No surprises then when a local beauty came over to check out the new boy on the block. ?
As if I needed proof, I knew I was still a catch, especially in Lycra.
Something to eat?
Breakfast had been sharp and with the CAFE OPEN! I had to stop and take in the scene.
I glanced around the magnificent landscape trying to absorb as much as possible, as suddenly I went, WOW! WTF, are they?
Two of the largest birds in flight I had ever seen circled effortlessly above me. They were majestic.
Birds of prey waiting for a walker or cyclist to drop with dehydration? Probably.
I enquired about the birds to a small group of riders on a nearby table who made the mistake of kindly attempting English.
To be honest, I couldn’t understand the reply, and you can only ask them to repeat so many times.
I settled for eagles.
I decided it was not too healthy or wise to dwell on any symbolism or meaning and just marvel at them.
Later I discovered they were in fact vultures which were re-introduced into the wild.
They were a treat for me but a long-lost novelty to the locals.
A storming descent fuelled by two espressos and fruit tart on a tarmac carpet.
‘How come French roads can survive anything from minus to 40+ temperatures and still be immaculate?
In the UK, the roads disintegrate 0º or melt at anything above 30º?’
Answers on a postcard to your local road planners, please.