It’s a precarious ride up from Barcelonnette. The north side road to the Col d’Allos (2240 m.) is pretty, rural and most of the precipitous drops in to ravines are still unprotected. Last night’s rain has stripped the leaves from more of the trees and left them as mulch on the road. Views at the old refuge to peaks of more than 3000 m, now with small deposits of snow but mostly in the clouds.
Down from the quaintly named “Foux d’Allos” ski village (literally the “madness of Allos”); the road becomes flowing, gathering width as I ride it, leaving the alpages, forests and crossing in to the high valley of the River Verdon, a major tributary to the mighty Durance.
Stop for fuel thankfully available at Barrême, and a picnic from the artisan boulangerie. Napoléon stopped here also.
Then back down the wide valley of the River Durance before hitting metropolitan Marseille. Passing queues of almost biblical length at fuel stations, I arrived just in time for the horrors of the Marseille rush hour.