Cows and caravans (or a day at the Tour de France)

Published by Lyn on 23 July 2014

A few photos from the Pyrenees, where we're on something of a last-minute flying visit to see a bit of the Tour de France.

Tour de france

Firstly, by way of disclaimer, let me say that we are yet to turn a pedal on this trip. While the prospect of meandering up the Tourmalet tugging a trailer with Future Cyclist aboard and in hot pursuit of Mini-Cyclist sounded romantic, in reality it was just a bit too much, especially on my own sans Proper Cyclist dad. And probably justifiable given the amount of traffic – both two-wheeled and four-wheeled – that we encountered today.

I'd pinpointed Génos as a good stage 17 vantage point as it gave us good, direct access to the route, allowing us to park in the village and walk a few hundred metres up the climb out of town without having to worry about carrying Future Cyclist (and picnic bag, parasol, and camera bag) up/down the side of a mountain, or adding hours to an already long day by having to arrive super early to avoid road blocks.

It was a lovely one-hour drive over the Col d'Aspin from Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where we are staying with Andy and Caroline, and from whose garden we will likely watch stage 18 tomorrow/today (depending where in the world you are reading this).

Here's an edited version of what Col d'Aspin looked like today.

Col d'Aspin

Here's an unedited version of what Col d'Aspoin looked like today.

Col d'Aspin

Here's the obligatory cow shot (especially obligatory if travelling with kids).

Col d'Aspin

Here's the rather stunning view from the top.

Col d'Aspin

At Génos – which is to be recommended in non-Tour times for its beautiful lake – we found a shady spot on the climb out of town.

Tour de france

Here's our patch of grass. (For other parents planning to inflict a five-hour wait for a peloton of cyclists on their young children, I highly recommend finding a spot with a farmer's field or similar nearby for emergency pee-pees).

Tour de france

But it was worth the wait, not only for the Tour, but for the revelation that Mini-Cyclist has inherited my competitive instincts: the commitment she showed to getting her hands on as many items from the caravan as possible was truly remarkable.

Here she is wearing her prized catch.

Tour de france

And here's the rest of the booty (complete with bonbon in mouth).

Tour de france

Oh, and this is what we were actually there for.

Tour de france

Tomorrow we get to do it all over again. 

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