Italy Morocco Pyrenees

June 2015

Part 13: Lourdes - La Seu d'Urgell

Without much time in our hands we leave the city of Lourdes unexplored except the rather indifferent part we've seen around our hotel. What definitely is anything but indifferent is riding on the D918 back in the scenic hug of Pyrenees. We make it up to Col de Soulor:

The background is blurry as it gets due to fog.

Riding on the D918 is pure joy. Want proof? You got it. These are taken right were "Upper" Pyrenees meet "Atlantic" Pyrenees:

Want some more? Be my guest:

We soon find ourselves riding in dense fog with visibility down to just a few meters. The worst so far. Pete and Kim are ahead of me but I can't see them anymore. After a right corner I see Kim's figure in the clouds waving hands to make me stop. I nearly miss her. We are at Col d' aubisque just above 1700m so they had stopped at the local cafe that we rush to enter to leave the freezing cold behind. No images make sense except this one when it clears up a bit:

I struggle to explain to the French waiter that I want honey instead of sugar in my tea (he full French, me no French) but I totally love it when finally he delivers. This local honey is super thick but so tasty and the tea warmed me up - much needed as this 1st of June feels more like 1st of January up there.

We continue our foggy way on the D918 and the beauty never ends even in this gloomy situation. Here's a couple taken close to Gourette:

In less than an hour we cross the Spanish border at Col du Pourtalet. The country changes but the joy remains high:

Another hour later we stop to for lunch and I couldn't resist taking a picture of the beautiful background kindly offered by Monte Perdido:

Driving down South we follow the river Ara and we later make a stop at Ainsa for its local eco museum dedicated to the local fauna of the Pyrenees:

I climb on a wall to enjoy the view which is not bad at all (on the left is Ainsa):

It was a no brainer to decide to walk this (almost) vehicle free beauty so we step in without second thought, also aiming to find a place to stay:

Lovely isn't it? That's the reason we can't find a place to stay though as they're either overbooked or overpriced. The cons of overbeautiful...

We continue on N260 and arrive at Campo decided to overnight there as we already had a long riding day. We easily find a hotel with plenty of rooms in this quiet town and the family that owns it is so friendly. Father speaks no English, he uses his phone to communicate with us till his lovely 11 year old son comes and gladly helps the situation. These people really went out of their way to make the best possible for us. We ask them if there is any option to have dinner at the hotel as we're too tired to leave the hotel and they say they don't but they would for us. I thought we'd end up with something mediocre but since I am no drama queen and this would save us precious time from looking for a restaurant I'm happy with that. Actually things go the best way possible us: Father goes shopping and comes back with the best sausages I have ever tried in my life. Epic dinner. Pity I speak no Spanish to ask him details about the ingredients.

Next morning I open my eyes and see this:

Simply perfect riding conditions. We thank the family and jump on our bikes to continue West. The N260 is still a nice mountainous ride:

Those two above were taken right after Seira.

One more pass on the way - Coll de Fadas:

Still on N260, still beautiful:

Same goes for N230 heading North and facing tunnels on the way:

We make a stop at Vielha 20 minutes after the above tunnel for some drink. The view of the background is still impressive:

A happy daddy and his little boy enjoying Pete's bike who offered to put him on its saddle:

Lovely villages on the way. Here's Arties:

And here is Baqueira:

As we pass Baqueira the C28 takes beauty to another level:

I jump back on my bike to ride that winding route up the mountain and reach snowy areas again:

At the top I find myself at Port de la Bonaigua at 2072m. Time to enjoy the view:

Time to leave one more cold top behind and ride down the beauty of C28 with nice twistes and other bikers around:

C13 later isn't bad either:

Back on the N260 again I am not done with nice images yet. After Rubio these ones:

And one more with view to El Pla de San Tris:

We end up at La Seu d' Urgell and decide to stay - enough riding for today.

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