31/07/2017 Annecy- Choranche (Massif du Vercors) ( National road/ D road/ Mountain road/ Balcony Road) 11 am/7 pm
...And this was the view from our ”window’ as we woke up the next morning in Annecy.. couldn’t be more spectacular!! We didn’t sleep too badly, although by the morning our inflatable mattress was deflated by the half.
As usual, we spent around an hour and a half to dismount the tent, repack the luggage and load the bikes. Carrefour was our first stop in order to buy a new inflatable mattress. Well, at the end due to the not so good Carrefour stock control, we ended up buying two single mattresses and ditched the old useless one we had.
All loaded, petrol tanks full, breakfast eaten and we left with the feeling that we didn’t see even half of what Annecy has to offer and that we will be back again. This is the little inconvenience when you are travelling to a different destination on a daily basis.
We passed Aix les Bains, got lost in Chambery (it is very easy to enter a big city and get confused with directions). As we got out of Chambery towards Voreppe it was Wow, Wow and Wow!!! The curvy roads with the occasional perfect hairpin turn, the scenery and the little villages we were passing by were simply breathtaking (no pictures of it unfortunately as we didn’t stop).
It was quite hot and we were already riding for a couple hours so we decided it would be better to stop for a drink and wee before going to the impressive Massif du Vercors. It lies in the Prealps, south east France where you can find some of the most dangerous and most beautiful roads of France. These are also known as balcony roads…
Half an hour later we entered a complete different world.. The amazing D22 route and the Gorges du Nan and climbing up the Vercors from Cognin les Gorges!!!
I set up the go pro camera to record it but sadly I couldn’t get any videos of the Vercors routes due to a faulty memory card Grrrrrr, frustrating.
So, this was the Gorges du Nan, short but unique, magnificent, beautiful and surely not for the faint hearted. Marie was as impressed as I was, despite the fact that she doesn’t like heights. We even had the police passing by and allowing us to take a picture of them. It was quite hot and time was short so we had to keep on rolling.. but not for too long because as we finished the Gorges du Nan we had to stop again as the road was becoming immensely scenic and incredibly curvy.. ( A pleasure for any biker)
Amazing places, aren’t they?
Well, At this point I wasn’t using maps but specific routes I had previously carefully researched and printed on A4 sheets, so it was very easy to follow. From the D22 route, to the D292 route and another amazing, probably one of the most scenic roads we did so so far.. Presles or route des Presles!!! again, pictures speak for themselves but don’t make justice to the place;
We probably spent about 4 hours around these two routes, and again, 7pm.. we should start looking for a camping site. We found a little camping municipal in Choranche, a very small village not far from route des Presles. It probably didn’t have more than 20/25 pitches for tents, but it was clean, extremely cheap ( 10eur for a night in total) and the lady working at the reception very friendly.
Our day on the road was concluded even if we were about 100 miles behind from my original plan.. We would try to catch up eventually…
As it was becoming our daily routine, we unloaded the bikes, set up the tent, mattresses, luggage installed ourselves. Local people camping were also very friendly and nice, making us feel quie welcome and safe as there was no security at all at the camping.
La Bourne river was just next to us. I had to go for a little walk around to check the surroundings. It was still too hot and I didn’t resist.. I jumped into the water.. 11 degrees inside (Ouuuch!!!) according to a dutch guy who was staying there with family for 3 weeks already.
Our day was nearly over.. The only downside I found in Choranche was the fact that there are no shops at all, or if there are, they were all closed by the time we were considering eating something.
We ended up walking to the only open restaurant that happened to be just a couple 100 meters away from the camping … we had some pasta but no regrets at all, it was delicious! Finally I could have a couple beers as well as there was no more riding involved for the Day! YaY
For a detailed map of the D22 and D292 routes click here