- We are now following the EuroVelo 8
- pleasant cycling on quiet back roads for the first 20km. Then it became very rough on back tracks which were up and down , stony and washed out or with enough sand to make it ‘exciting’ at times.
- Got to the ugly town of La Jonquera which was where people came to buy discount/duty free stuff. Passed through this and the associated mass of freeways and side roads and soon moved away from the traffic, still following Spanish EV8 signs.
- Eventually started climbing again on an old grooved concrete road.
- Stopped for picnic lunch under shade of trees. No one else to be seen.
- As we continued the road became extremely steep and took us to a border marker. We then road along an ever worsening track vaguely along a ridge, that must have been following the border. We were on the Spanish side. The going was so difficult we alternated between walking the bikes and riding.
- After what seemed like hours (and probably was) I came off on one of these steep climbs as the front wheel rolled across a loose rock ( like many others I’d hit!).
- No damage to me or the bike but I was even more cautious after that. Tom assured me that this was difficult mountain bike riding let alone what we were riding in with full paniers.
- Finally got to the French Spanish border and the track suddenly improved remarkable. The nasty rocky track turned into a beautiful concrete cycle way with lots of signposts and distances. Riding was a dream... even when climbing !
- Passed an area Helen and I had walked in 2017 and looked back in the huge 17th century Fort de Bellegarde.
- Finally started descending, and were pleased that we that we wouldn’t be late for our accommodation booking.
- Suddenly dropped into a town and Pauline realised the accommodation (where shed also stayed in the GR10 walk) was not in this town but rather 10km UP the Pyrenees.
- We set off at 5pm and climbed constantly back up the Pyrenees for 10km. At least we were on a good Wales surface.
- Arrived at accommodation exhausted and dehydrated as we had finished our water before the climb.
- Hostel people were super friendly. Showers and it was immediately time for dinner.
- Had dinner with a very nice and I interesting Dr (patrick) from northern France, who was walking the High Pyrenean Route (HRP).
Dinner bed and breakfast for 2
Distance Today 55 km Distance Total: 1161 km
Pleasant to hot
Fruit , yoghurt, rice baked in milk, fresh orange juice.
Dinner € pp
Sausage and pan fried potatoes
Cake and icecream - T
Icecream and fresh pear - P
Bottle of cider