Mad French roads: gorges.

I guess that the French like challenges. Well, certainly the road builders do, if examples in these parts are anything to go by. You might have read about the Gorges de la Bourne in a previous posting, but that’s a far from isolated example. I guess that with the nature of the terrain in the mountains, you either have to go through them (the French are quite handy tunnellers too) or round them, and the latter usually involves following an Alpine water course, and in doing so, a certain amount of flair is called for.

The Gorges de la Bourne is one of those late 19th-century balcony roads that seemed to be as much about the problem-solving engineering as about the need to get from A to B. And I’m not sure what the economic case for building the Gorges des Gâts was (it was built in 1910) , and though it’s maybe not a classic balcony road (much of it runs along the bottom of the gorge), it’s certainly a roller-coaster ride. This time I rode there specially to take photos – I hope you appreciate the dedication to duty!

At the end of the photos there are a couple of shots from the ride back, and an apparently unloved little col: the Col de Miscon. No official sign there, but a rather sad little hand-painted one. OK, a 1023m col in these parts is hardly worth mentioning, but given that it’s not far off the highest point in England, I thought I’d give it a little moment of glory. Well, if a paragraph in some barely-read blog can achieve that, that is.


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