Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hobo Diaries, part deux

So this week I left my bike in storage and brought along a photographer to document my outings!

Early on in the week ended up going to the Gorges du Verdon for a bit of hiking and kayaking. Started off with some kayaking in the Lac de Castillon. The next day was a long and tough hike for a good 6 hours along the Sentier de l'Imbut. Finally an easier hike along the Sentier des Pecheurs before heading back to Nice.

Lac de Castillon:

Sentiers de l'Imbut:

Sentier des Pecheurs:

Squeezed in a training day in the superb trails of Blausasc. Sadly it was on one of the hottest days of the year, I ended drinking about 5 litres of water in 4 hours but had a great time.

At the end of the week we ended up going up to St Martin Vesubie to see some high peaks. Played around at the summer resort of La Colmiane on the Friday, getting in some accrobranch, summer luge and mini golf. On Saturday we did a big hike up to the Lac Negre pretty high up in the mountains on the border to Italy. We could have hiked into Italy but ended up running back down to the car after a quick dip in order to go see a nature reserve with wolves before it closed!

La Colmiane:

Vacheries de la salese -  Lac Negre:

Alpha, le park des Loups:

Sadly my hobo journey is ending as I need to get back to work and reintegrate society next week, bummer.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hobo Diaries

So in an attempt to do a cheapo holiday, I took most of the month of August off, moved out of my flat and packed up the van. So here goes week one: my biking week, and get back up to fitness fast week.

Day 1: Solo testing
 On Monday I drove up to the spot of my very first alpine spin last year, the Lauvet d'Ilonse. This was more of the test day for my camping setup, bike and fitness. I ended up doing a short 12km ride with 600m positive climbing, followed by a 6km 350m hike up ride down to the Brec D'Ilonse.

A weeks worth of gear and food

The camping spot

View of the camping spot from the first climb

First climb

Took a break at the end of the climb due to a thunder storm

View from the top, it's the start point of the last enduro race I did, but I took a different route down

Alpine trail

On my way up to the Brec d'Ilonse

Nearly there! Punctured here coming back down...

View from the top, massive cliff right behind the bike!

My camping spot is dead center, superb descent back to it

Le Brec d'Ilonse

Dinner and lunch most of the week...

Le Brec d'Ilonse, conquered :)

Day 2: Big day with LeChris

On Tuesday LeChris came out for a huge ride around Puget Thenier. I had not seen Chris since his Transvesubienne finish nor since he got a 29er, it was great to see him in good spirits and good shape too. He put me to shame on the climbs. Hard day though: 37km with 1800m vertical climbing!

The big man - LeChris
First huge descent down to Auvare

Chris' warrior wound

Pit stop

The bikes

Savage trail going down the wrong side of the mountain, will have to test it another time

Day 3: Rest day

Took a break on wednesday, visited Entrevaux quickly then took a quick hike up to the "Sublime Spot" in the Gorge du Daluis.


Start of the point sublime hike

Soooo tempted to come back with my bike... Hikers would not be impressed tho.

View from point sublime towards Guillaumes

View back towards the coast

Pretty high cliffs

Le pont de la mariƩ

Day 4: Lazy day with Mike

This day was a mixed bag... Got up early, drove up and down the most horrible mountain road ever to col des champs. Had the most amazing bike ride with Mike as a guide, next to nothing up and 2200m down, hitting several peaks above 2km. Then Horrible drive back to the camping site, made worse by my drivers licence escaping through the window and down a ravine...

Parked one car up at the Col d'Allos. Tiny bit of sweet singletrack up.

Then 20km of downhill

Mike in the first of 3 skilifts back up, sweet!

Full hobo

Top of the world

Happiness overload

Stopped at the col on the way back, amazing view...

in every direction

More mountains

and again

Sweet ride

Day 5: Solo sneaky practice

On Friday I rode the Portes du Mercantour course solo: 1500m 30km. As this was a race circuit, there were 3 excellent descents. The first in particular was 20 minutes of perfection. The second was brilliant but short. The third was great but carrying my bike up for an hour was heart breaking.

Stage 1, superb.

Stage 2, so much fun but way too short.

Started off at the couple of houses above the hill in the middleground.

And finished down at the river

My last hobo dinner, a good one too

Got back to civilization in the evening to be welcomed by a 40 minute, stand-still, traffic jam... So that was my week one. So glad to finally use my van the way i had planned when I bought it.