A surprise at the end of the tunnel

The weather forecasts promised us terrible things for later today in Choranche. That can only mean one thing – time to move on. And so we did, guided by the tunes of the ever so appropriate ‘Follow the Sun’ by Xavier Rudd, a tune we have rediscovered during this trip.

Although we followed the sun, it didn’t work out as planned. We drove South, snaking our way through the gorges of the Vercors. Driving here is serious fun. We decided to drive up the Col de Rousset. The views were supposed to be nice. Once at the top we found ourselves in a windy, cold place, with some drizzle sprinkled on us to complete the excellent weather. The clouds made for grey views, but it wasn’t hard to imagine that these views should be amazing on a sunny day. Although the end of the road also had an RV lot – but not much else – we decided to have a coffee inside, and roll back down to the main road, where we would immediately take a tunnel.

Dull and grey weather on one side

This tunnel was great. There was some construction work going on, and the traffic light let us wait for about 5 minutes, building some suspense, although we had no clue what would await us at the other side. The tunnel was relatively short. Less than a kilometer, I would guess. Yet, it seemingly took us to another world. On the one side of the mountain, we were in an almost Austrian-feeling valley, green and lush. The other side was much more Mediterranean, it immediately felt dry, and the weather was certainly warmer. It was like driving into another world. But a very nice world, for sure. What I had not realized was that this tunnel was at an altitude of 1000m or so above sea level. At the other end, we went downhill. A sequence of hairpins – with some exquisite parking options where you could take in the views – led us down to the village of Die. I won’t bore anyone with the details of our much-needed grocery shopping, which we did at the local Intermarch√©. A local campsite will host us for the night, and we will let the weather gods decide what happens tomorrow.

Pretty sunny and warm on the other

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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