Col de Bleine (1,439 meters) was Wednesday's challenge. It started as a perfect day: the sun was shining, the forecast was for 27 degrees (80 fahrenheit), and we had all day to enjoy the 125km route.
The mountains and valleys behind Nice are a magnificent sight to see. However, the mountains often have their own micro-climates, as we learned. Unprepared for cold, wet conditions, we shivered our way back to the villa. My fingers were so frozen, I could barely shift gears.
Initially, we planned to tackle Col de la Bonette (Europe's highest paved mountain pass) the next day. But after the beating on Col de Bleine, we agreed a rest day would be wise.