Length of Stage 207 km
Altitude to climb 4'050 hm
Under a cloudy sky we speed down to Saillans. From here it goes uphill towards the Col de la Chaudière. The first raindrops begin to fall and are followed by heavy gusts of wind and pouring rain which accompany us to the top and over it. A young French lady in a very tiny car stops and offers us a ride. We decline with thanks and start our descent through a wonderful landscape, only we cant see much. The aim is clear: to loose altitude as fast as possible. With teeth chattering we make a compulsory break in Bourdeaux. About an hour later, dressed in our warmest clothes, we start again: rain, rain, rain - Dieulefit, a little pass - Grignan and we are heading on a small street towards the Rhône. First we see a lot of vineyards and then lavenderfields. Shortly after Pierrelatte its again time for a pause. We enjoy very much the hot coffee and tea as well as the sandwiches. As we get up to leave, we notice that there are puddles on the floor. On our ascent to Roche Colonel the sun reappears: with a lot of joy we take off our rain clothes and dress normally. We are heading for the Belvedere now, an excursion to one of the most beautiful points overlooking the Ardèche. The sight was indeed magnificent, but all the cars a shock! We follow the queue until Vallon Pont dArc, take pictures from the Arch and escape into the solitude. A very small street, sustained hills and - no cars! We arrive in St. Ambroix: only 30 more kilometers to go, the first ones pass quickly in a nice countryside with a lot of tomato-plants (in Switzerland only pumpkins grow this big). We have to cross over a pass again, not long but steep, a short descent and the last 12 kilometers for today are Bikers-Dream-Street": between hills it goes slowly up, and we gently gain altitude. The sign of Genolhac, and we find our Hotel (room reserved in advance). A beautiful place to stay, the staff was very nice and even though it was past ten p.m. the chief cook served us an excellent dinner. Indeed our royal stage day!!