Cycling to the Head of The Guil Valley - L'Echalp - Queyras Regional Park

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Saturday, 8 August 2015

Cycling to the Head of The Guil Valley - L'Echalp - Queyras Regional Park

A few days into our stay in Aiguilles, after Esther had recovered physically from the stomach bug that had wiped her out for the past few days alongside more talking and exploration of our individual and shared issues, we decided we really needed some fresh and air and to move our bodies and that a bike ride felt just the way to do it. Almost 4 weeks beforehand we had cycled up the Guil valley from Guillestre, reaching a little way past Aiguilles before turning back. Today then, we decided, we would complete the ride to the head of the valley at l'Echalp.
Setting off early in the morning sunshine the gradient climbed gently, with a few steeper sections, along straightish stretches of road before we soon reached the village of Abries already bustling with morning visitors. Stopping briefly to check out the local shop (still no frozen berries unfortunately) we rode onwards, passing the even smaller village of Ristolas a few kilometres later. The setting by now was remote, with the wide flat valley curving gently up from the stony river bed in it's centre.

Ahead the road was straight and climbing, with just one final bend before the end of the road came into view. The head of Guil valley was a beautiful sight, with high mountains visible above and beyond the closer, craggy cliffs rising up from the river bed. It was a picture postcard view.

Lingering long enough to decide this was a perfect spot to overnight before hike (motorhomes are permitted in the car park at night), we then began our gentle descent pausing just once at the Arbries tourist office to collect some local information. Although it had been a relatively short ride, just under 25km in total, it had been just what we needed. Fresh air, movement and sunshine and left us feeling invigorated for the rest of the day.



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