Surrounding the Pyrenees in 9 days

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jugama, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    136
    Location:
    Murcia, SPAIN
    In fact the trip took us eleven days, but two of them were to to come up there and back home.
    The bike is the same I took to England and Scotland back in July 2010.
    Suzuki Volusia VL800, with 54 thousand miles on it, but still running as she did with 10,000.
    Riding two up + bags.
    1940 miles, and we lost the number and names of the "cols" or passes we went, mainly the worst known, but I think we came up 5 of them the same day. I'll try to remember as I write this down with the help of the maps and photographs.

    Day 1: Murcia- Girona. 690 km

    Nothing special, but a quick trip on the motorway.

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    No pics this day, in fact this one was taken the second day in the morning by a German guy wo had breakbast in front of us at the hotel. He did like the bike, especially the whitewall tires... Ready for the Pyrenees.
    #1
  2. AlbaLife

    AlbaLife Adventurer

    Joined:
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    looking forward to this RR stunning part of the world :norton
    #2
  3. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    That is roughly our trip in the next 9 days:
    We went through the French border near the Mediterranean, an then Westbound to the Atlantic following "La Route des Cols", well known worlwide thanks to the Tour de France... Lots of cyclists, and riders, on every bit of the road.
    Then we came back to the Spanish side of the range and Eastbound again, up and down more passes called port, collada, or puerto here, depending the region where they are; and then finally back home to Murcia.

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    #3
  4. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Ok, thanks, I'll try to report as soon as I can, but I have 800+ photos to chose from and my wife alone more than a thousand. I'll try to get the more interesting to you, guys...
    #4
  5. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 2: Girona - Bolquère. 207 km
    Col de la Perche, Alt. 1581 m

    We went to the seaside at Llançá, then followed a backroad up and down the hills untill we reached the french border. The first 15-20 km of that road are really bad, but funny!, after that the road is wider and some bits are really fast, but we dicided to bypass Perpignan and go through some really nice villages. Our firts lunch was in Elne, at the only restaurant there, I think. Good Scenery and good food. After Prades the first Col begun, a long way up to the col de la Perche, and a bit higher was the village of Bolquère.

    A cove, by the road.
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    Port Bou: the long building on left of the church is an old International Rail Station. Before the EU, they had a lot of work there, with the police, customs and the railway being of a different width, everybody an averything had to change form a train to another... I think it's not busy at all nowadays.
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    The border.
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    Last Spanish village: Port Bou
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    First French Village: Cerbère
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    Banyuls sur mer
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    The vineyards reach the beach.
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    French wine
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    Elne: first lunch in France, and...
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    ... a cup of coffee
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    Cool name for a place in a restaurant...
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    "Le petit train jaune", coming down from Bolquère, the highest rail station in France, 1,593m. We were riding to this town.
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    Our hotel at Bolquère.
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    A view from our room
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    #5
  6. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 3: Bolquère - Saint Girons. 153km
    Col de Puymorens, alt. 1915 m.
    Col de Port, alt 1249 m.

    Our first really high pass, nearly 2,000 m., and the snow near us.
    The hotel owners were riders, and owned Honda Paneuropean 1300.
    Quite a small but nice town, Saint Girons.

    Some more pics taken along the road and on top of the passes.

    Near la Cabanasse
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    The Thémis Power Tower in the background.
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    Col de Puymorens
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    Foix
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    Mercus Garrabet. We had lunch at the bar "Le Cathare". in the background
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    The road tha leads to the Col de Port
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    Col de Port
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    Entering Massat
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    Along the Salat
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    Saint Girons
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    Saint Girons
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    #6
  7. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 4: Saint Girons - Luz Saint Sauveur

    Col du Portet d'Aspet, alt 1069 m.
    Col de la Clin, alt. 1245 m.
    Col de Menté, alt. 1349 m.
    Col del Portillon, alt. 1293 m.
    Col de Peyresourde, alt. 1569 m.
    Col d'Aspin, alt. 1490 m.
    Col du Tourmalet, Alt. 2115 m.


    The day with more cols, and the highest one, 2115 m., We haven't pot pics of every col, because it was raining when arriving on top of them, but here is a selection of the ones we took.

    Fabio Casartelli Memorial. The Italian Cyclist died in 1995 when going down the Col du Portet D'aspet.
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    One task you have to do from time to time. Cheaper in Spain, near Bossot
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    The river Garona. They had floods here one month ago, and road works are still in progress.
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    Col du Portalet.
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    Saint Lary
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    Vive le Tour de France!!!
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    Col de Menté
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    No Parking, the mayer's orders. The Tour's law...
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    I think this pic would fit another thread. Bike and Chapel...
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    Col D'Aspin.
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    Rain Gear...
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    Snow at the Col du Tourmalet.
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    Here we are!
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    On the other side of The Toumalet
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    Two marmots, not far from the road...
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    ...and not far from these... They were trying to take a lam from a herd of sheep, with no success.
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    Our hotel at Luz Saint Sauveur, in fact, they had apartments. Thre's the bike, Can you see?
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    Here! Just in front their garage door.
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    #7
  8. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 5: Luz Saint Sauvuer - Cirque de Gavarnie - Lestelle-Bétharram. 115 km.

    Col du Soulor, alt. 1474 m

    Not a lot of riding, this day. We went to the Cirque de Gavarnie, and you can only go on foot, horse or donkey.

    We got on the bike after lunch, a bit tired of the walking, but it desserved the walk.

    Cirque de Gavarnie.
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    We went there.
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    Col du Soulor.
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    Very common on the roads
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    A cabin for the night.
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    #8
  9. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 6. Lestelle-Bétharram - Saint Jean Pied de Port. 133 km.

    Col de Marie-Blanque, alt. 1035 m.
    Col d' Osquish, alt. 507 m.

    Not the very high Pyrenees, but a good landscape, and interesting roads.

    Col de Marie-Blanque. One the best roads up this pass.
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    A view from the hotel room window.
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    And the other way round.
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    #9
  10. g®eg

    g®eg Canadian living in exile

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    cool! :clap
    we are about one month from doing a similar loop through the Pyrenees!

    really great pictures, congrats!
    #10
  11. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 7 Saint Jean pied de Port - Hondarribia - Saint Jean Pied de Port. 175 km

    Col d'Ispeguy, alt. 672 m.

    The only place we had two nights in.

    First down to the Ocean to complete our coast to coast ride, and then to Spain for luch and back to the hotel.

    The Bay of Viscay.
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    Hondarribia.
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    The Frech side as seen from Homdarribia.
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    Horses on the road again. Col d'Ispéguy.
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    #11
  12. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 8: Saint Jean Pied de Port - Jaca. 160 km.

    Puerto de Ibañeta, alt. 1057 m.
    Puerto de Abaurrea, alt. 1012 m.
    Puerto de las Coronas, alt 951 m.

    Back to Spain. Not very high passes, but nice scenery.

    Ibañeta.
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    Abaurrea
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    Las Coronas
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    Valle de Roncal
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    Burgui
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    Berdun
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    Jaca. La Ciudadela. The Fortress
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    Within the moat
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    #12
  13. Crab bait

    Crab bait Been here awhile

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    My family and I spent a week in Beziers and Perignan a couple of years ago. Thanks for the memories!

    You were right on the edge of Andorra. Did you cross over?
    #13
  14. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Not this time, we went there last summer, and we had nothing expensive to buy, no money to buy it, noor room to keep it :D
    Joking. But Andorra and the Valle de Aran are the places we know best in the Pyrenees area.
    #14
  15. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 9: Torla- Altrón. 286 km.

    Puerto de Foradada, alt. 1020 m
    Coll de Fades, alt 1470 m.
    Port de la Bonaigua, alt.. 2072 m

    Jánovas, an abandoned village by the river [​IMG]

    Arro
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    Just wide enough for the river and the road...
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    ..and sometimes, not the road.
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    Entering Castejón de Sos. The storm was chasing us all day long...
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    Valle de Arán. One of the villages.
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    Port de la Bonaigua. Horses on every pass. (I use this one as a wallpaper on my Pc)
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    Getting some information?
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    Curvy road, down the pass.
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    And finally the storm hit us... but we just had entered the hotel:wink:
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    This could have hurt us, if riding!
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    The mountain, under the storm.[​IMG]

    Same place, in the morning. Altrón, in the valley of Assua.
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    #15
  16. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Day 10: Altrón - Vilafranca del Penedés. 305 km

    Our last two passes, for now:
    Coll de cantó, alt. 1710 m.
    Collada de Tossas, alt. 1800 m.

    Sort.
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    Coll de Cantó. Feel like being over the clouds.
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    La Seu D'Urgell. Having a cup of coffee in the tshirt I bought in Jaca.
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    Ribes de Freser
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    Vilafranca del Penedés, on our way back home.
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    #16
  17. Jugama

    Jugama Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Day 11: Vilafranca del Penedés - Murcia. 553 km.

    Only a few mobile phone pics, today, and a lot of riding...


    Peñíscola, Castellón.
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    END OF THE TRIP
    1940 Miles. 3122 km.


    The bike clean, oil changed, in front of our house.
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    #17
  18. SimonUK

    SimonUK Grumpy old bugger

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    Thank you for posting the report. You've taken some great photos. I have ridden some of the roads and it's nice to see some that I haven't been to but am planning on riding.

    Hope you enjoyed your trip
    #18