Day 12 Castellane to Nice

Towering above Castellane

Towering above Castellane

Weather 9c and clear skies rising to 25c in Nice by mid-afternoon. I was awake early, woken by birdsong and the only other sound to be heard was the water in the river running over the rocks. The run into the main town was along the river bank and everywhere had a clean fresh smell. I paused briefly in the town, high above is precariously perched the Notre-Dame du Roc church looking over the town and I was reassured to see Nice on the signpost so I carried on across the river and after a brief while began to climb away from the town, through La Garde to the top of the Col de Luens at 1054 metres. From this point a twisting descent for a couple of kilometres before another modest climb and this time the top at 1100 metres is the last significant climb of the ride.

On the descent I had to keep a watchful eye for the turn to St Auban D2211 as it comes upon you rather quickly. After a couple of kilometres another turn that is easy to miss, the D2 takes you through Malamaire and all the way into Nice.

The valley is a mix of open arable fields and livestock and I was also appreciative of the kilometre marker posts counting down to Greolieres.

IMG_1250The descent into Greolieres is dramatic along the narrow twisting roads, through tunnels with just a low barrier between you and the valley floor. From this point the ride is very much downhill to Nice but there is one more gem, the Gorge du Loup that gives you some fabulous views, it is narrow but with winding turns, tunnels and waterfalls, it has it all. The road continues to descend and it begins to get a bit more built up, a sign Nice is getting closer.

As I got to La Col-sur-loup it was coffee time, it was also to be our campsite for the night. We parked the motorhome and from here I was going to complete the last 20km riding into Nice with Kaye.

The road to Nice was definitely getting busier and we made our way through a series of backstreets, courtesy of Mr Garmin before arriving on the promenade cycle path for the final 7k along the water’s edge.

Downtown Nice

Downtown Nice

The last 7k was the worst of the ride, I have never seen such bad bike handling as people using the path and it reminded me why I am not a fan of shared paths as tourists wandered across the lanes without a care in the world.

We took our time to reach the far end and I had wanted a final photo by the palm trees that mark the official finish but the kerb around the trees were providing seating for some locals that seemed to have an alcohol problem, so with a few snaps by the sea wall the ride was finished.

We retraced our steps back to the campsite for celebratory beer and cake and the start of our holiday, well after I have been back to Mt Ventoux….

Campsite Camping Le Pineade €20 electric €5 (we passed), wi-fi €4 per hour !! (we passed) hot showers and motor home service point.

Stats 76 miles 3415 ft climbing.

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