28 September 2011
Notwithstanding I finished late in the evening, Day 63 of my Turkey motorcycle tour was always going to be a challenging route after choosing a route through the French Alps which incorporate as many high mountain passes as I thought possible to do in a single day.
Heading west out of Andermatt at around 0900 I again went over the Furka Pass, but you’ve already seen that. My first rest stop of the morning was at the scenic Restaurant Le Virage, just after passing through Martigny.
Next was Col de la Forclaz (1,526m) before crossing the border into France just after Le Chatelard. Continuing on through Chamonix Mount Blanc, Albertville and St Michel de Maurienne, my next pass was the Col du Télégraphe (1,578m) before pausing briefly at Valloire …
before tackling the famous Col du Galibier (2,645m).
Briançon was the next major town, I’d been here before when skiing in Italy and the foul weather had closed the slopes through lack of visibility (it is just over the border).
The ride to Guillestre was straightforward although I passed up the opportunity to spend the night here (probably a bad call).
Moving on (and losing a glove much to my dismay – lucky I carry two pairs) I went over the Col de Vars (2,111m) and then refuelled at Jausiers (I was almost on fumes by then!).
The next one was special. La Bonette at 2,862m was the big one. The highest surfaced pass in Europe I understand. There was little traffic to contend with to my relief. The views were simply spectacular from the top of The Alps, but interestingly no snow could to be seen.
On the way down I passed over the Col du Restefond (2,678m) and finally in the darkness the Col de la Couillole (1,678m).
It was a long but memorable day – one of my best and like I said earlier, probably the most challenging to date of this Turkey motorcycle tour.
Distance travelled yesterday 384 miles (618km), cumulative 9,993 miles (16,082km).