The VeloNomad 2011 Trip Days 4-5: Avoriaz, Chamonix, Aguille du Midi, Alpe D’Huez
Day 4 – Climb Avoriaz, drive to Chamonix
The next day we rolled up toward Morzine en route to Chamonix. After having a look around.
We parked up and I rode toward Avoriaz. The weather was typical Hautes Alpes sketchy arvo weather with threatening rain. I bailed short of the Avoriaz peak due to rain and headed back down to the car.
We drove back into Morzine – this place is a roadies and mountain bikers heaven! Need to come here in winter.
This is an in joke. Everyone is in on it.
We had toasted sangas (Croque Monsieurs – tip, Vue Cafe Croque Monsieurs are awesome). I told them we wanted Kates without butter and the waitress told us the chef was having difficulty cooking it – not because he refused to do it but because out of some misguided senses of food decorum didn't want to do it as it would be too dry. We insisted, and they relented.
We then headed across to Chamonix and arrived mid arvo. I was excited to be back here as I wanted to catch the cable car up to look at Mont Blanc. There is camper parking in Cham, so we parked up (on the main drag – Very BUSY) and rolled into town for dinner.
What started as some lazy Heinekens as depicted below, turned into some sort of culinary nightmare.
I decided to try French cuisine and had a tariflette….a cheesy, cheesy potatoe-y baked thing. Got through half and bailed. Kate ordered lasagne and got a VERY oily, cheesy mess with minimal pasta sheets and meet. We both regretted this choice. Like Anchorman. Blert.
It rained its bum off that night. Like, really, really rained.
Day 5 – Chamonix to Bourg D'Oisans and a sub 1 hour Alpe D'Huez
We woke to divinity and headed to the Aguille du Midi. We parked at the carpark (paid) and then discovered you can walk to the station from town.
We arrived and debated going up due to the queues but I am glad we went up.
The Aguille du Midi ascends an horrific amount of vertical in a short space and puts you at nearly 4000m for a view of Mont Blanc. A MUST DO. It's possibly to ascend inside a lift in the spire and then take another 1 or 2 lifts across into Italy. Madness!
I wish Australian ski resorts had such good lifts (maybe their prices would be justified then hmmm?). We got to halfway and cleared to the next cable car.
How did they even get cables and infrastructure here?
We got into the next cable car and I was very glad I whacked on my 2XU tights. COLD. The cable car ascended like some sort of nightmarish Bond-esque pre-movie shocking nightmarish scene. The other car went past us FAST and people were shocked.
We got to the top of the Aguille du Midi which is nearly 4000m up. Shocking to think of, isn't it. In Chamonix it was nearly 30 degrees. Up here? Snowing. I am not joking. We got some photos and admired the views and the people out climbing the glaciers (madness) then got some brunch. Brunch consisted of the most RIDICULOUS hot chocolate I've ever had. Thick. Luxurious. Like a fine Shiraz. Or Persian Carpet. Take your pick. Shocking.
We headed down which took MUCH less time than heading up then headed off.
We headed put of the Alpes via St Gervais de Bains, Megeve and the delightful Flumet. Cyclists note: you MUST do: Cluses -> Flumet -> Col d'Arivis or Megeve. Epic. We arrived to the Autoroutes and happily got going into the Maurienne Valley.
Our destination was Bourg D'Oisans and we were going via the Glandon rather than around via the Grenoble.
The drive over the Glandon is hairy, but my god it is a good climb.
We got into Bourg D'Oisans and got a spot in the centre of town at Colporteur camping.
I went for a spin up Alpe D'Huez clocking a 59″ ascent at 6.30.
We wandered into town and got pizza (again). We had ok pizza here – the good thing about the Frenchie pizza is they're almost all woodfired and thin bases – Italian proximity I guess. So Kate is dealing ok with the food. They didn't want to seat us (9PM) but thereafter another bunch of people showed up. They don't seem to like making money and doing business, The French.
Wandered home for a good sleep. Alpe D'Huez beckons again tomorrow!
A significant amount of time and effort goes into these reviews, all with the aim of helping you. As lots of readers say, I give way too much information away for nothing, and it really does take a lot of time and effort (but I do love doing it!).
If you found the site useful, and you didn’t need a SIM card or ebook, I’d really appreciate it if you dropped something in the Paypal tip jar below. Or if you’re buying something online, use one of the affiliate links below the Paypal button.
Paypal tip jar (choose your own amount)
These affiliate links provide me a small commission (2-4%) on each sale and they don’t cost you a cent extra.