Northwards to Annecy
Striking camp at Briancon, the original plan was to head over Galibier, to Lescheraines. A second site near Annecy planned at a camp that JP, Phil and Scott discovered several years ago. Col di Galibier (as originally planned) was closed and after a coffee, all six headed farther down the valley to an alternative option that Phil and JP had previously ridden six years ago.
Starting the ascent, Scott decided to turn around and favour a faster route; whilst attempting a u-turn on the first climb, his bike went down. Fortunately the rest of the group caught the 'drop' over the intercom and headed back to help. Riding to the valley floor, checking the bike over. Tom decided against the hairpins and balcony road, opting to accompany Scott and both headed off via the alternate rout.
JP, Phil, Oli and Tanuj wound their way up the mountain before riding along the most stunning balcony road, eventually dropping down to a lake and amazing BBQ lunch. Oli and Phil stripping off for a swim afterwards, the four then headed northwards over the pass, toward Lescheraines, up and over the revised pass and down the other side... in need of some water and a 10 minute rest, they stopped beside a stunning tree that had survived and avalanche a couple of decades earlier.... then a call came in from the other two, plans were changing.
The camp that would have been a good base for the following two days ride-outs was evidently now less friendly (as compared with six years ago) and although a single pitch was offered, Scott and Tom were less convinced; relationships between them and the receptionist far from ideal, Scott rang Leyla back in the UK and asked her to search for alternatives, arranging a more family oriented option nearer Lac d'Annecy... passing the coordinates back the other four, to rendez-vous there.
Phil's Sat Nav took an interesting route and ... after the road ran out ... the remaining four (JP, Phil, Oli and Tanuj) turned around and rode back down to the pastures through a ford, before finding farm roads down to the revised campsite... all very hot and exhausted, the six were reunited, Scott and Tom having opted for a cabin, though reserving pitches for the four others... a welcome beer preceded setting up camp... followed by a nice meal and a few further drinks, before retiring to bed!