Crossroads just down from Col de Festre (1442m.)
A brilliant afternoon riding the Col de Festre (1442 m.), Le Dévoluy and Gorge of the Souloise. Dévoluy is a short side trip off the Route Napoléon and well worth the detour if you have the time.
La Posterie, Défilé de la Souloise (Gorge of the River Souloise)
Défilé de la Souloise (Gorge of the River Souloise)
Barrage du Sautet
Corps, seen across the Lac du Sautet, hidden in the canyon eroded in the base of the valley.
Lac du Sautet
View from hotel
Riding on to Sisteron from the CB500X test ride at the dealer in Manosque, then up the valley of the River Buëch, one of the major tributaries of the Durance. Heading off at Veynes on the road up the valley of the River Béoux, a classic middle mountain rocky valley, just now with a flow of water only in the middle of the wide stony river bed. The road winds up to the Col de Festre (1440 m.) for a view north of Le Dévoluy. It’s overall a sloping area comprised of a number of chaotic geological uplifts in different directions; it’s not a plateau but Le Dévoluy feels like an Other World because you can only access it via either a fierce gorge or one of a handful of cols. This weekday evening the roads were clear both of wet and of traffic and the light was gorgeous on the remaining snow on the heights, the spring shoots on the trees and the flowers in the alpages.
Riding down towards to the Défilé de la Souloise (Gorge of the Souloise), the rocky cliffs that once looked as mountains now tower over the road as mighty cliffs. The winter recedes as the road descends, more flowers appear progressively as the altitude decreases. The River Souloise contributes to the Drac in a lake behind a dam at Le Sautet. The lake is in a canyon-like valley eroded by the fierce water of the Drac so you look straight across the top of it, unaware of the vast lake below.The water level looked low to my eye but I was told it will increase as the melt season progresses.
Finally a view of my destination, the friendly hotel on a ridge above Corps on the Route Napoléon with the Écrins towering behind, again still with snow on the heights.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to enjoy these roads on two wheels in such conditions. My set of photos tries to show the thrill of the riding the route as well as the magnificent scenery.