Very tired this evening so just some pictures and I'll update with words in the morning before breakfast!
(Now adding some text ...)
Three Cols, Marmare then Sept Freres and finally the Jau!
The final big Col of the tour
And Scottish weather again!
Gorges de St George on the approach
to Col de Jau - beautiful
Looking down a ravine on the descent of Jau
Yesterday was the final 'big' day taking in two climbs (Marmare long but not too steep, and Jau very long and very challenging in places) and some 80 odd miles. The weather was mainly overcast again with some drizzle and very cold on both descents. We arrived in Prades mid afternoon and are now in the Meditterean region, just 50 or so miles to run till we reach the coast. Only one small Col to negotiate.
Apparently we will ride the majority with a big tail wind and once the sea can be seen the neutralised zone will end and it will be every man for himself to the 'finish line'. I know Dave is chomping at the bit for that experience. Yesterday he 'rode' the Jau (as he put it) and was first up it (and seems happier and more satisfied). I have said all through the trip that he should ride at whatever pace he wanted but he has mainly stayed with me which I know he has found frustrating and would have preferred to have been pushing hard with the groups of guys that are on tour with us. However, the reality is his metabolism simply can't cope with the heat and long days - something he needs to come to terms with - perhaps a little Taoism wouldn't go amiss - I've discovered since dropping the carbs and regaining my mental health that there are far more important ways of defining yourself other than sporting achievements - in fact non-definition is the key, being present now! Fortunately his bottom bracket was creaking yesterday and it made him somewhat cautious to push too hard in case it failed, there have been lots of signposts for him to notice along this trip!
Needless to say that Guiseppe and I will enjoy watching the madness from the rear of the group and arrive without having killed ourselves (I hope!).
I'm longing for my own food and my own bed now (and a 16 hour fast!); a week on the road with so little sleep has upset my metabolism to a degree as did the Haribo episode which resulted in an unpleasant high then crash (metaphorical I hasten to add) the following day along with teenage skin outbreaks!
Next stop the Med and a final round up, for now it's breakfast time (if you can call it that!) ... oh for bacon and eggs :-)