18 july 2012 Le Tour de France

Walked up Col du Tourmalet and found a great spot near the ski lift and just up from the van park about 5 kms out of Barege. We left at about 10.30am and arrived an hour later. Then waited until about 1.30pm before the ‘caravan’ started. All the sponsors send floats and throw out giveaways. It’s a little bit like Moomba! That goes for about an hour which amuses the spectators before the main event. There are gendarmes (police) and vans making announcements on what’s going on. Unfortunately they are all in French! You can tell when the riders are coming by the amount of helicopters buzzing around the place! The atmosphere is electric and because of the spot we were in we saw a slow (comparatively) stream of riders for about half an hour. It takes them about half an hour to get from the village to the top. Such a fantastic day!
Tonight is dinner in my Hotel de Tourmalet, a little up the road to where most of the others are staying at the Mountain Bug.
What a wonderful holiday!

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