Day 35 Viareggio to Aix les Bains

Well this day was a real challenge – 606 kms., four Time Trials, four Time Controls, one Passage Control all in addition to the Main Time Controls at the start and end of the day. And we were beginning to think this was almost over – total fools.

We actually began the day with clear skies and sun – just perfect for northern Italy and the Alps – of course we had to drive some to get there but everything has its price. I can only say the mountains are just spectacular and leave it there.

This was our first Time Control at Passo del Bocco– being new to this game we didn’t realize how important to was to race out of here as there was no time to spare doing the four Time Trials then getting to the next Time Control. Once again Lloyd did a great job with the Time Trials (and we didn’t wreck the car). Only the specially prepared rally cars like the Holdens and the Anadol could meet the Target Times but we did real well. Fortunately, all this occurred in the morning so we had the afternoon to drive the other 300 kms up through the Alps and across the border to France Igood news, there is no customs there any longer).

I’m pretty exhausted so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Yet another mountaintop village …

Somewhere in Italy on the way to Torino …

On the road still in Tuscany – yep, that’s the Anadol trying to get around the truck …

Just beautiful scenery – I’ll leave the pictures full size so you can enjoy them …

And the pictures do not do the area real justice – you had to be there …

You don’t want to drive off the road – there is no guard rail …

And a little house on the hill … Note the haze, apparently there were fires burning in these hills – what a shame.

Time Trials completed, we are now on our way to the Passage Control at Mt. Cenis. This was quite a ways off the direct route and they put these “PC’s” in to make sure you do the entire route – if you skip them there are time penalties.

And the haze is gone …

Every turn held another spectacular vista …

All those little white dots are the posts for the guard rails – gives you some idea of how steep the ascent is to get there …

What can I possibly add …

Just after the Passage Control at the top of Mt. Cenis which was just after the French border where we were at 2100 meters (6800 feet).

I’ll bet you thought we never stopped – you would have been right as this was a rare exception. This was such an amazing view that we couldn’t help it (and we were a little ahead of time).

This is ski country – snow even in autumn.

This was Lanslerbourg, a lovely ski resort even at this time of year … We made a wrong turn here but got back on course quickly.

More of the medieval towns built at the top of the hill …

A closer shot so you have a better idea of what the building actually look like …

And one final shot of a street in a town I forgot to get the name of (can’t imagine how that happened).

We arrived in Aix les Bains on time amazingly enough and parked right in the central square. Lots of people showed to look at the cars but I wasn’t focusing on more pictures (probably thought I was out of film). Unfortunately, our hotel was about a half mile from the headquarters hotel and parking for the cars so we had to carry our stuff down the hill then go back to the main hotel for dinner and finally back down the hill. It was probably good exercise which we all needed as we have sat in a car for far too long a period of time.

Tomorrow we have to hike back up the hill to start the last serious day of the rally – seems impossible to believe it’s almost over.

This entry was posted in Peking to Paris 2010 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 35 Viareggio to Aix les Bains

  1. Kiwi fan says:

    What an adventure! I have been following your antics and the rally since day 1. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your journey (and great photos!) with an armchair tourist. Your adventures and stories have given me itchy feet to travel to some of the areas you have passed through (although I know which hotels to avoid now!!!).

    Well done team, you are nearly there!

  2. Laura Merriman says:

    Wow, what stunning pics. I really can’t believe that you all are almost there! Just a bit more pressing on to do then a big old celebration! We are wishing we could be there to see that beautiful caddy roll down the champs elysee….

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