48km Col Accarias to Le Rivier d’Ornon

The gorge seems to go on foreverAndrew relaxingMountains have definitely been the theme of the past few days. At least by now we are getting used to racing cyclists zipping past us while we take plenty of chocolate breaks by the side of the road. Sometimes we would like to give them a pannier or two to take to the top for us. We’re just waiting for one to offer! As we were making our way to the Col d’Ornon at 1371m we passed many memorials to the French resistance during World War II and also to individuals who were executed by the Germans. The whole area is so peaceful and beautiful now, it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like just half a century ago. After a lunch break by the edge of the Malsanne river and a slow journey to the peak, we celebrated our hard work with a beer at the top before descending to Le Rivier d’Ornon, so beautiful with its gardens and river rushing through the heart of the village. We were on a hunt for the house of two cyclists we’d contacted through the Warm Showers list. Of course in a small town everyone knows everyone so we were welcomed warmly by the neighbours, even though Cécile and Arnaud were still at work. Laurent brought us cups of tea and biscuits while we waited in the garden and we chatted for a while about his home in Morocco, where he’s lived for the past four years. One of the many things this trip has taught us is how many ways there are to live your life, beyond the standard 9-to-5 office job. There are so many people out there doing things we’d never have thought of, like moving to Morocco, herding sheep and working in the fields. Before long our hosts were back from work and we passed a wonderful evening with them, hearing about all their bicycle travels, their new home and feasting on racelette for supper.


  1. andrew
    6th June 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Road notes: The D526 up to the Col d’Ornon is a quiet road where you won’t be bothered by much traffic, although there are more than a few cyclists about. Valbonnais is a decent size town with a small grocery store, although everything was closed on the Monday as we went through – something to beware of if you are cycling in the area. Stock up on Saturday or Sunday! There was a campsite signed in Valbonnais, 900m outside the town centre. Unless you plan on going into La Mure, there is really very little else on this route outside of Valbonnais so come prepared, although there were plenty of fountains to refill on water en route and a hotel/bar/restaurant at the Col d’Ornon.

    What we spent: €5 beer

Leave a comment