2014 France / Italy Ride Continued
Ethel slept in a bit this AM, but I was awake early so got in some catching up as we didn’t have internet in Prataccio and we drank too much wine last night to get anything done after dinner. I worked on the travelogue stuff and the road book for today. After breakfast we packed and took our stuff down to the lobby then I retrieved the bike from the super garage. We loaded up and headed out under partially cloudy skies but a light mist was clouding the visor as we rode. I had, based on some remarks I made in the 2013 EE Ride journal for a similar leg on our return (these journals can actually be useful), selected some more motorway this AM to get us out of the urban/commercial sprawl around and beyond Asti and closer to the mountains before we got on the two lane. This turned out to be a good call and, although the rain picked up a bit as we rode, we made good time as we headed for the Alps but, as we had not seen this stretch of road before, we didn’t realize that the motorway continued up into (and then under) the mountains. We got a little confused with the various road choices and then took the 15K long tunnel into France as it was the only option (I had no idea from reading the maps..actually should have looked a little closer). It’s an amazing feeling to be in a tunnel for that long, at least for us. When we popped out on the other side the signs were in French and after another false start we got onto the small two lane which continued to parallel the (A43) motorway which continues on west to Lyon. It became perfectly clear that it will be cool up here when we came out of the tunnel and, although it stopped raining (actually there was a little sun), there was an ample covering of snow on the mountain tops. The roads up here can, at least for me, be a little confusing and just maybe my lack of sleep and ample dose of wine last night impaired my navigating skills. At any rate, with the rather late start this AM, a nice lunch and a couple of mis-starts with the road today, we decided to call it early and stayed at Saint-Michel-De-Maurienne for the night and review the road book for tomorrow.