I'm in Vielha, Spain, inconveniently typing this from the hotel lobby... the only place in the hotel with wifi. Wilfred, Wouter, Stefan and I just walked back from the cantina round the corner where we had a drink. Nice to be out in the cool night air, after another warm day in the mountains. We laughed at the lamp post now leaning precariously out front... struck first by our truck that transports the bikes followed by the the girlfriend's rental car. They apparently hit it really hard. It looks like I feel.
Last night I stayed in a charming hotel in Mirepoix, just off the town's medieval central square. It looked quite old but had a great shower, a comfy bed and the shutters opened so I could hear the cathedral bells chime 7 am (I'd already been up for an hour editing pictures). Separated from the team for a night, I went for a walk and discovered there was a concert in the cathedral. For ten Euros I got a seat in the soaring nave with what appeared to be half the town for a program of Bach, Duruflé and others.
The girlfriends are back with us and they had the music blaring from their convertible high up on the Port de Bales as the boys pushed up to the summit. All made it up and down to the finish over some pretty exposed pitches without incident. I think it would have been easier to come down on the bike than it was by car. Twice I found myself on the outside edge of a 1.5 lane road with a camper. I hate those white things.
There are many more images of the team to post, but for a change I decided to offer this one of "Ted" a Canadian riding the Tour solo with support from Steve Bauer's Touring company. It is one of my favorite images from the entire trip so far. The small size doesn't do it justice. Our team arrived at the same location a few minutes later, but somehow the larger group just doesn't have the same iconic power as the single rider and the lone tree. It's 12:30 am and roll call is at 6:30... time to call Juli, grab a shower and be in bed by 1 am. I'm running on fumes.