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Col de la Bonette

Bonette elevation

   We might need oxygen masks today as the road climbs to 2802m and which is billed as the highest road in Europe. In fact, it's the highest paved route in Europe and the highest tarmac road in France. It's also the highest road ever used in the Tour de France.

   The climb starts relatively modestly through lush meadows and then becomes progressively more desolate as the altitude rises. As we near the top, the terrain is more lunar like than Alpine, where loose scree and bare rock predominate. The actual 'col' or 'pass' is at 2517m but there is a scenic yet steep loop around the Cime de la Bonette which takes the road to the record busting 2802m.

   There is no café or indeed much at all at the summit. so we need to take refreshments from the minibus before descending all the way back to Jausiers for lunch.

   It's then all aboard for a scenic trip through Provence. We will pit-stop briefly in historic Sisteron to stretch our legs and maybe take a coffee break before continuing on to Bedoin at the foot of tomorrow's finale, Mont Ventoux.

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