Lully, Lyon, Le Lot, L’Atlantique and lots more... travel blog

Our ride profile for the day

Before leaving figueres had to get photos of the colourful shower that...

 

 

We are excited to see our first EV8 signs in Spaino

Find the end of a wine harvest celebration in small Spanish village

With the flag flying high

We are approaching the Pyrenees

Around the border the track is narrow and stoney

We stop for a picnic before the serious climb

Love those tins of salad with their own fork included!

Yay. We see a border stone

Climbing up this road is much steeper than it appears in this...

Looking back at where we have come from

No other car or cyclist seen in this track. Just this sign...

Finally get to end of track to find this description of it...

Horray! We are at the pass and back in France again

Bellegarde fort

An exhausting ride. But happily we are at the hotel at last

Not sure who the donkey is... perhaps it’s me!

Tom has found a friend

A hotel of character

Lots of set tables but only 3 guests for dinner


Highlights

- 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).

Accommodation 109€

Dinner bed and breakfast for 2

Distance Today 55 km Distance Total: 1161 km

Weather

Pleasant to hot

Food

Breakfast

Fruit , yoghurt, rice baked in milk, fresh orange juice.

Lunch

Picnic

Dinner € pp

Mixed salad

Sausage and pan fried potatoes

Cake and icecream - T

Icecream and fresh pear - P

Bottle of cider

2 beers

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