Cévennes Camp 2013


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Last week-end we went for a ride through the National Park of Cévennes, Gorges du Tarn, Causse Noir…

Starting from Alès and finishing in Millau. (see the map).

We were really lucky to have an amazing weather (sun during the three days/excepted saturday at the end of the day).

The ride wasn’t a piece of cake because we were really loaded (big 13kgs bags on our backs for two of us, and rack bags for the third one).

We cut the initial map, due to our really heavy bags and the « shot » rain which wasted some of our time at the end of the first day, but this was a really cool camp ride we won’t ever forget.

Thanks again to MET Helmets (Stradivarius helmets were really nice to wear with this heat), and thanks to Knog and BicycleStore for their support on this adventure!

Day#1:

A few hours after leaving the city of Alès, we did around 70kms only climbing through really nice hills.

There are not a lot of villages on the way and this was one of our main concern: Getting enough water for our bottles + for the camp dinner.

In the afternoon we just had about 20kms left to the bivouac#1 when we found a village with shops.

We’ll finally had cool local food to add to our « survival food kits » tonight but a few minutes after we get an heavy rain + hail !!!

We thought it will end quickly but it didn’t.

So we tried to kill time in a bar where the mayor proposed us to stay in their village lodge.

The day was ending, and speaking to a woman about our map, she said the next 10 first kms were climby and not so interesting and spoke about another road which seemed beautiful.

We didn’t want to get wait just before the camp and weren’t sure to find THE place to camp (during the first 60kms we didn’t see any places which seemed perfect for the night…)

So we staid in the lodge: Kitchen, clean bathroom, beds, heat…perfect to be in good shape for the next day.

Day#2:

Great weather again!

We left the village in a beautiful morning light and followed the informations the lady gave us last night.

We took the road of « Gorges du Tarn » (like small roads into canyons).

This was amazing : We were rolling down for 10 kms through golden light and ochre rocks, surrounding a canyon sliced by a river and filled of pine trees…Beauty !

We went through crazy landscapes, tuff hill and passes.

The big thing of the day was to go to Le Mont Aigoual. (Not a tough climb at all, but with theses bags…)

There is a meteorological observatory built in 1887 over there which is currently occupied by the French meteorological service.

The week before the guys told me on the phone they were expecting snow again and there were big snowdrifts.

I was praying in hope the road would be opened for our ride…And it was!

Temperature was 10degrees higher than the week before, and we had the chance to get there with this huge sun (which is a miracle when you know it’s the wettest place in France/See the severe weather conditions listed here)

The view was incredible up there and there was still snow along the road.

The station looks like a James Bond movie castle hanging on a mountain…weird place.

By the way, the Tour de France went there in 1987 only.

Beautiful moment!

We went down crossing beautiful forests and we finally reached a village at the end of the day where we bought some x-tra food and drinks for the night.

After some kilometers we stopped on a nice hill and build up our camp under pine trees.

There, sitting in front of a beautiful sunset, we had a cool « survival lookalike » dinner + wine to celebrate!

This was THE perfect place…Sleeping under a sky filled of stars , we had a quiet night.

Day#3:
The morning we took our breakfast facing the sun rising on the other side of the camp.

We rode under a crazy sun again through the Causse Noir (beautiful forests with red grounds).

We had the chance to see some vultures but Jojo broke his chain 15kms before arriving to Millau.

Hopefully we had no more climbing left but he had to ride « single » until the finish line…Millau, where we arrived earlier than expected and took time to have a lunch under the sun.

(ALL PICTURES HERE)

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