Saturday 27 August 2016

Le Mont-Dore to Super Besse...

We've been to the Auvergne quite a few times over the years. The first was in 1980 on a ski holiday with a group of school children. Our hotel was at La Bourboule, but the skiing area was at Le Mont-Dore. Although we haven't skied there since (we've opted for the Swiss and French Alps, which in the higher resorts is more snow-sure) the ski area and lift system has developed and the resort is linked over the Massive de Sancy to Super Besse. Super Besse is a purpose built resort and has little of the charm of more traditional villages, but it does have mountains, a lake and even an indoor swimming pool. It was crowded with people making the most of the last sunny days of the school holidays.

The intrepid cyclists were cycling up over the Col de Robert and taking a detour around Lac Chambon, Murol, St Nectaire (of the cheese fame) and Besse (for coffee) and then taking the massive climb up to Super Besse, which varies between 7 and 12% for around 7km. The total ride was about 50km. I hope you're impressed - I was!! 

I drove the support vehicle which involved passing them a couple of times, pipping the horn, shouting the "allez, allez" and blasting out a few bars of Born to Run. My job done I headed to the traditional stone and cobble village of Besse et St Anastaise to do some window shopping and have a drink in the town square. It's thirsty work!

I have better photographs of Besse on my camera, which I'll download to my laptop and update.

The scenery was stunning. 

It's a mammoth task getting the bikes on to the roof bars...

A cooling dip in the lake...

Finally, you know you are in a ski resort when three apples and three tomatoes cost 4€87!

To round off the day we walked around the crater lake. Lac Pavin. We remembered doing this in 1994 with Rhiannon and our Dutch friends Robert and Erna Van der Pieterman, Maaike, Erik and Frank. 

Happy days...


  1. Phalarope....bleedin' autosmell!
    Try again....
    Phwoar!! In this heat...a sincere "king of the col" to you guys....
    I'll have to open another cold beer!

  2. Well done guys... You look like you need a good rest in that first photo Tim... Looks a great area we will have to visit sometime in the future.

  3. As I once said I've been to Besse.. the most wonderful tea salon was there. It was the first time I'd seen, smelled, tasted and bought a pot of tea and packets of tea with blue bergamot etc in it. Now of course it is easy to obtain. After that we sat near that church in your photo. At the time it was a festival and heaving with people. Must find my pics!

    How interesting about the source of the Dordogne.. and what about that egg stone? Perhaps not religious! Mmmmmmm sparkly waters.. I must go!!!
    Oh well done those two stalwart cyclists...and the backup team!

  4. Sounds like you all had a great time and Happy happy Anniversary as well for today. Another reason we must get together ASAP to have a double celebration :-) Take care Diane and Nigel xx

  5. And of course, the photos look much more impressive on a PC than on a mobile. What a brill achievement - very well done to all involved. Axxx

  6. Your photos of Auvergne are very pretty and show the landscape so well. I have always wished to visit the Auvergne but only drove through it a couple of times, without stopping. Some of my favorite cheeses come from the Auvergne: the Cantal (le jeune) le St Nectaire et le Bleu d’Auvergne. Too bad I can’t find the Cantal here in the US.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog to check on me :) I admire those who cycle for these long journeys--I don't have the inclination or the legs for that!