Friday, May 23, 2008

Col d'Agnes

Today is our last day of riding in the Biert-Massat area. We consulted with Austin and he suggested the Col d'Agnes and - if we were up to it - the Col de Latrape. We did decide to do both Cols today.

The climb up the Col d'Agnes featured a lot of road painting from Le Tour de France. Virenque was by far the most prominent name out there. We also passed the lake, Et deLers, and briefly communicated with a group of about 15 French tourists.

Aulus-les-Bains was where we stopped for lunch. I was hoping to eat at Hotel Les Oussailles, however it is slow season and they weren't serving lunch. I walked in and heard people eating and having conversations in the private area. They didn't hear me, or didn't react if they did, so we left and found one Brasserie, LaCascade open. Kay had salmon and I had a Croque Monsieur. Its a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, a local traditional meal.

Aulus-les-Bains is a very interesting place. It is a welcoming place that has a number of hotels, maybe 5, and most of them are closed yet well-kept. Perhaps they get a lot of business during the winter skiing season, I am not sure.

After lunch we climbed the Col de Latrape, a 5km col. At Austin's advise we rode the Vallee du Garbet and the D8. It follows a river downhill all the way to the village of Seix, where we stopped once again. We had a gentle tailwind along the D8. It was about as good as it gets on a bike.

We had a another great dinner at the Roquefort Cycle Lodge. It was our final dinner here and Sal pulled out all the stops. The rate of 96 Euros for the two of us per night included breakfast and dinner, and wine with dinner. This is a good value even with an exchange rate of USD1.62 to 1 Euro. Sal and Austin have done a great job with this place, and really took great care of us. They have decided to sell the Inn because its a lot of work to run. They have at least one very serious party who intends to continue to run the place as a cycle lodge. They will stay in the area and Sal has landed a job as a nurse.


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