St Claude to Bonneville

Well what a difference a day makes. Woke up in St Claude pretty early in the morning on Friday. I think my anxiety of what lay ahead acted as my alarm clock. The route planning had been done and decision made about which way I needed to go to get towards Geneva and into Switzerland. The only way was up and over a mountain.

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It was do lovely to spend the night in a hotel. All my kit dried and I was able to fully stretch out and have a good sleep. I was on the road by 745am and after a short mosey out of the town centre it was onto the D124. This road just went up and up and up for about 8km. But, it was the most enjoyable uphill I’ve done so far. The sun had come out and the higher I went the more stunning the views became.

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Evey kilometre there was a waymarker telling me the gradient, how far was left to go and what altitude I had reached. This was great for goal setting purposes as I ticked each one off at a slow but steady pace. When I made it to the top it was a great sense of achievement and I was rewarded with a freshly baked croissant from one of the local bakeries that Amy had found. Off down the other side of the hill I was treated to a fast descent which weaved in and out of pretty villages.

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From here to Annemasse was the next goal and it was back on to a fast D road with heavy traffic. The weather stayed dry and sunny which was a blessing that I didn’t take for granted. At last I saw my first sign for Chamonix! What a great feeling. Still quite a way to go but what made it even more real was when the Alps popped into view. Absolutely breathtaking.

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I caught a glimpse of Mont Blanc glistening in the sun. It didn’t seem real. By now I’d reached a pretty nice flat and quick section of the day. I had pressed on through Annemasse having made good time and Bonneville for about 430pm was the next destination. What a pretty town to end up in, but the stay was short-lived. We found the Municipal camp site but we did a rapid 180 and left as quick as we arrived. Not the most desirable of places!! Plus just as I rolled up there I heard my tyre pop for puncture number 2. A quick stop at tourist information told us that the next campsite was in Cluses which was on my route for tomorrow. Fine by us. It will mean a bit of a back track for me back to Bonneville in the morning but with only 33-ish miles left to go I don’t mind!

So with only one day left to go its all pretty unbelievable that it’s almost over. I can’t believe that my beloved Alpinestars (now affectionately known as BikeyMcBikeFace) and my battered body have got this far. It will be strange to wake up on Sunday morning in Chamonix with no bike riding to do and no camp stuff to pack up. Until tomorrow, here’s tonight’s overnight stay…

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