Today, mid morning I was sitting in a lovely square in Saint Sauveur sur Tinee. I’d spent the morning climbing out of Saint Martin Vesubie before dropping down through Valdebore. The scenery was stunning but something was lacking… it was only until I stopped in the square that I realised.
The pressure of the schedule, the Route des Grand Alpes, was having an unseemly affect on my trip. I was plagued with doubt about my ability to climb these cols in the heat, and the idea of getting to Lake Geneva and beyond for that matter while still managing to enjoy my holiday was becoming an unrealistic prospect.
I was chewing over this while enjoying a very French moment… having popped into a boulangerie and buying some very good pastries for very little money to enjoy in the sunshine. I think my doubts had subconsciously caused me to stop and reflect.
It was a lovely half an hour. I talked to a couple of cyclists and walkers, both enjoying the boulangerie’s fare too. I resolved immediately to change my plans and focus on quality experiences rather than the climbing. The hard yards may have been inevitable, but what’s the point without some reward?
I climbed the Col du Couillole in the afternoon and am now holed up for a couple of days to plan and sort a flight out of Nice. I’m staying in a beautiful, sparsely populated valley and it feels like I am in the mountains proper at last. A day doing laundry, reading my book and eating good food beckons. And that sounds just dandy.