Stage 12: When All Else Fails, Drink Coffee

After nearly getting run over last night I was determined to find a bit of a safer spot.  But there was a 3 hour traffic jam getting off the mountain so we didn’t make it to the climb for the next day until 1:30 in the morning.  The shoulder was super narrow and steep, so we parked right behind a big RV and set up the tent between the RV and the car.  This way we figured we’d be protected by the two cars if a crazy 18 wheeler ran off the road!

I think Ben was a bit sick of snuggling up to me, so he slept outside.

Sure enough, 18 wheelers were blaring up the mountainside all night.  And again, there were more drunk Europeans singing through the night.  And if things weren’t noisy enough, there were some local French joy riders who drove up and down the mountain blaring their horn at every parked car.  It was basically a scene from Mad Max out there.

If all this wasn’t enough, in the middle of the night it started raining.  Ben had taken a sleeping pill so he was knocked out.  But eventually either the rain or the 18 wheelers or the drunk Europeans or the joyriding Frenchmen knocked him awake.  He hopped into the tent, soaking wet and freaked out by all the pandemonium.  And I felt like I was sleeping next to a wet dog for the rest of the night.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a restful sleep.

Ben and I rode 20 k to the finishing town in search of coffee and croissants to wake us up.  We went to a great café and had a few coffees each and watched the start of the Tour on the large screen the town had set up in the square.

The day definitely got better after a few coffees . . . .


. . . and a few of these.

After two days in the mountains the stage was relatively flat and the climb was short.  We ran as best we could but the riders were flying and we didn’t get on TV.  Hopefully tomorrow

PS – the day did end well though, with a trip to McDonalds.  You can even order from a kiosk inside the restaurant, although they haven’t quite sorted out the translations (see below).


  1. Anne Reply
    next year, Bottle Boy at the drive thru!! lol Imagine the face of the restaurant worker?! LOL

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