We had arranged a week before to meet old friends Sarah and Jerry at a campsite in Le Bourg dÓisans in the French Alps. We were heading that way anyway and they happened to be staying there for a few days in their great VW camper van. Dave had not seen them for 10 years. We first met Sarah in 1996 when we rode around India together for a few weeks along with a motley group of other bikers met along the way.
The ride from Turin was fast and easy along the motorway. There are some very long tunnels as you approach the French border. First impression of the French Alps is that they are not as pretty as The Dolomites. Higher, yes but less forested and there are more ugly ski resorts. The villages are mostly newer and do not have the atmosphere of Italian villages. You do see more snow though and lots of waterfalls.The highlight of this short trip was the Col Lauteret at 2,200m with great views from the top of the pass. It was bloody cold though. Only in France will you find stalls selling local delicacies on a high mountain pass. We bought some jam from a woman who claimed to make all 16 varieties herself. I am sure that making the jam is a lot more rewarding than standing out all day in the cold trying to sell it.
It was great to see Sarah and Jerry. Jerry had just come back from riding over one of the high mountain passes, Col Galibier, 2,600m, on his bicycle! The campsite Ferme Noemie was stunning. Run by a friendly British couple and very laid back. It was strange to be surrounded by so many British people. It did not take long for the beer and wine to be broken out. Sarah cooked a veggie curry and a very nice evening was had.