The Vercors regions has spectacular scenery and today we explored some of the best gorges, cliffs, passes and plateaus. First of all, we set off up the mountain via Combe Laval to Col de la Machine, which is over 1000m high. The road at Combe Laval took over 50 years to make because it’s hewn from the cliff face, with numerous tunnels through the rock. It finally emerges into the middle of a magnificent cirque, a deep gash in the landscape. The steep drops and stunning views from the road have to be seen to be believed!
We parked Bertie before Combe Laval and walked through to check it out before John attempted to drive him though the narrow tunnels and under low rock overhangs. It was a bit nerve racking even though the lady in tourist information had said we should be ok! I stayed on the road to get some photos.
All was well and we parked at a hotel at Col de la Machine for coffee and pain au chocolat.
Then we set off for the Goulets gorges. Unfortunately, a long, modern tunnel has replaced the Grand Goulet road, which is now closed because it’s considered unsafe. The Petits Goulets starts at the crags of l’Allier and consists of 5 short rock tunnels. Pretty impressive!
Gorges de la Bourne was next. This a 24km road, often cut into the cliff, along the river between Pont en Royans and Villard de Lans. There are some beautiful views along the route including the Cirque de Bournillon. I didn’t get many pictures of the road on the way out because there were few places to pull over and it was pretty busy.
We treated ourselves to a lovely meal in a shady restaurant garden in Villard de Lans… a 25 euro menu which included a salad, followed by steak tartare and chips, and ice cream. Delicious!
Then we retraced our route back through Les Gorges de Bourne. I managed to get a few shots from Bertie, which aren’t great quality but show what it’s like.
We then managed to find somewhere to park in Pont en Royans, a beautiful town with 16th century architecture and coloured and wonky houses. It was really hot by now and people were swimming and paddling in the river. We wandered down to join them and spent some time cooling off. I took photos while John watched a few lads jumping into the river from the cliffs.
Then it was time to head back to the campsite, ready for the storms that were forecast to arrive.