Clermont Ferrand to Le Mont Dore
This post will be mostly pictures, as it’s the best way to show you what we have been up to.
We left Clermont Ferrand, and cycled uphill for 15km with 800 meters of altitude gain (9.5mi, with 2600 feet of altitude). It was a hard climb. It was hot, there was not a single flat stretch the whole time. That got us to the Col de Ceyssat, at 1100m. From there, we got off the bikes, and hiked up to the summit of Puy de Dome, at 1400 meters.
From there, we had a long descent, on a lovely road, reaching a top speed of more than 50kph (30mph), and then rolling hills, with only one other major climb. We reached a campsite on a dairy farm, and because the toilets were not yet operational, the farmer let us camp for free. We bought some cheese in the morning.
Then there was one long climb to the Col de Guery, with some stunning views along the way.
From the Col it was downhill all the way to the town of Mont Dore, where we are now. We are staying with a Dutch couple who run a business renting accommodation to skiers in the winter, and cyclists in the summer. We found them via the website warmshowers.org, which organizes free accommodation for touring cyclists. They are a lovely couple, and we were given our own apartment!
Today we plan on climbing Le Puy du Sancy, the highest mountain in central France.