Climbing Mont Ventoux

The Summit, originally uploaded by jjn1.

A few weeks ago, the Tour de France made one of its occasional forays onto Mont Ventoux in Northern Provence. Since we were passing nearby on our journey south, we decided to drive to the summit — and were stunned by the legions of cyclists who were also heading up, clearly as their personal homage to the Tour stars. It’s a gruelling 18km climb in searing heat, and yet hundreds of cyclists were doing it. And of course many of their families had come along to lend moral and other support, so there was an almighty traffic-jam at the summit, which is 1911m (6269 feet) above sea level. Not for the faint-hearted, believe me.