Stats: Guillaumes (800m) to Saint-Dalmas-de -Valdeblore (1290m) via Col de Valberg (1,668m) and Col de la Couillole (1,678m); length 65 km; elevation 2,041m. Battery used 120%.
This was another day racing against the incoming rain. And it was the hardest section of the tour, calling for some battery recharge along the way.
We woke up early and put the engine at maximum to do the first 13km / 800 elevation without sweat. Thus we used 50% battery just to reach Valberg.
Col de Valberg is not a landmark of the Grandes Alpes like the previous Cols; there is no stone monument to mark the finish line. But the charming resort of Valberg was busy with tourists, restaurants and an open market. We even found a Hotel Chalet Suisse!
A gentle descent, followed by a gentle ascent, brought us to the second Col of the stage, Col de la Couillole (1,678m). Here a beautiful bucolic landscape, even adorned with grazing cows, reminded me of the Swiss mountains.
A lovely single hotel chalet completed the picture; a couple of coffees was the barter exchange for recharging a little our batteries.
During the downhill we stumbled upon the picturesque medieval village of Roubion, perched up high overlooking the Tinée Valley.
And then the route continued through a spectacular canyon-like valley.
At last, with our dwindling mental and physical strength, we undertook the final 12km/900m elevation to Saint-Dalmas-de-Valdeblore.
After the day exhaustion we were rewarded with a magnificent Bed & Breakfast, chalet-style (Chalet Anduebis), with incredible mountain views in almost complete isolation.
Links to other sections of the Route des Grandes Alpes:
- Intro- Route des Grandes Alpes , France (southern half)
- St-Michel-de Maurienne to Valloire , France (Day-1)
- Valloire To Briançon , France (Day-2)
- Briançon to Guillestre , France (Day-3)
- Guillestre to Barcelonnette , France (Day-4)
- Barcelonnette to Guillaumes, France (Day-5)
- Valdeblore to Sospel , France (Day-7)
- Sospel to Nice , France (Day-8)