It still very showery and cool but we have decided we'll still have a try at getting to the source of the Loire at Gerbier de Jonc.
Most of the morning is spent threading through the heavy showers (successfully) and we stop for lunch in a very out of the way little restaurant apparently in the middle of nowhere. Not a word of english but we get a modest (but expensive) lunch.
Our host is a chain smoker and clearly is not going to be told he can't smoke in his own hotel. That bit is not so nice.
This is a very interesting viaduct with no parapet over a gorge. It seems to have no real purpose but Mary drives over it just because she can. I'm satisfied with a walk over it but my word it's scary if you need to step to the side.
By the Gerbier de Jonc the temperature however, never high today, has dropped to a low of 2.5 - horrible. More garments required.
The Gerbier de Jonc is a disappointment with a couple of rough shanties selling snacks and souvenirs. Normally we'd give it a miss but today the stop is most welcome. Once the rain stops we get moving this time downhill, off of the plateaux and down thousands of feet to Vals-les-Bains.
Finally we get caught by the weather, hail stones which are not so bad as you don't initially get that wet, the ice bounces off. It's doesn't last though and we take shelter in some nameless village for a while. Mary carelessly drives over some cow shit in the road and spends time wiping if from various places, including her trousers. A weakness of the three wheeler is that it tends to spray stuff like that about.
By now it's 4pm and Tripadvisor suggests Villa Aimee where a charming Australian lady, Leila, and her mother make us welcome in their splendid villa overlooking the town. Large room with large bath. Oh my.
It's also heaps warmer down here, 20 or so although we are told that this is the coolest is has been all summer. Amazing the difference a few kilometres make.
Leila recommends Le Carre in the town and unfortunately the patron and I get off to a bad start which is a pity. The plat du jour was ok but once you start with an off note it seems to be worse than it is. Suffice to say I'd pass on le Carre next time but ymmv.
Walking home the cold weather has come down from the hills and it's quite unpleasant.