Spain, September 2013 − Travels − Captain Tom

Spain, September 2013

One picture says it all: Sun, Mountains, Motorbikes, Spain, endless twisty roads, happy faces.

Thomas, Rico and I have booked a tour through the Pyrenees with Extreme Tours. The biking season is almost over but we go to Spain, France and Andorra on beautiful roads from Perpignan at Mediterranean Sea into the Pyrenees and back. We enjoy gorgeous views and local food. Marcellus planned a tour, booked the hotels and assists when necessary.

1 Journey to Perpignan

We get there in many different ways.

Marcellus, Hansjörg and Beat come with a trailer.
I fly into the sunrise from Berlin to Paris...
... watch other planes...
... and fly with HOP! to Perpignan
Mediterranean Sea during approach
At the same time Rico and Thomas are riding the van with the bikes and have a sightseeing stop at Millau bridge (Viaduc de Millau)
Unpacking in the evening
Klaus arrives via auto train from Düsseldorf
2 Tour Day #1

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The group is ready. Rico, Thomas, Marcellus, Klaus, Beat, Hansjörg and me. A second Klaus will join us in the evening.
We start with great roads along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
Later in the day we find a biker's restaurant where we get orginal Catalan food and can watch Moto GP.
Afternoon coffee in a tiny french city
The day ends in a nice hotel
3 Tour Day #2

We go to Andorra. The passes are magnificient and we have to stop from time to time

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Here is a video of Col d'Ordino
The tunnel has a one way regime changing direction every 11 minutes
A very nice hotel
Beat had a little misshap and and had to cancel the tour. Marcellus arranged for everything.
4 Tour Day #3

We do the big Tour de France Passes (Col d' Aubisque, Col du Tourmalet and Col d' Aspin).

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We start with a magnificent gorge
Then we do some sightseeing....
... and a terrific gorge in Parco Nacional Ordesa Y Monte Perdido
View below Col d' Aubisque
Good french food for lunch on top of Col d' Aubisque
Wild horses eat bananas of a american cyclist group while the cyclists enjoy the views
The valley below Tourmalet has been damaged heavily.
Marcellus takes some riding pictures on Tourmalet
We meet for a chocolate stop below Col d' Aspin
View from Col d' Aspin
5 Tour Day #4

We move on to Andorra.

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We get ready in the morning in front of the hotel
Later on a construction site. Marcellus offers chocolate - to the guard too
Then Thomas runs into some technical troubles with his Ducati. But he can repair it himself and while we have our morning coffee Thomas and Marcellus go into a garage and let the broken cable clip get soldered.
This sign summarizes the tour. It is located below Coll de Bóixols. A great pass with proper road surface and lots and lots of turns.
Marcellus, Hansjörg and Klaus went ahead ...
... and document our arrival
Great view
Below the pass we get local food again: Chickpeas with deep fried skin of a pig
Veal ragout with mushrooms
Marcellus shows us some more view points
And the afternoon coffee is a must
Some tires are toast and get replaced
The bikes wait for the next day
6 Tour Day #5

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We do a loop around Andorra
It is raining on Coll de Bóixols
This time Rico's Ducati makes some trouble. It does not want to start anymore. After a while it das and we can proceed.
Before this Thomas got out of fuel which let us take an offroad shortcut down a mountain.
7 Tour Day #6

The last riding day. We go back to Perpignan. Unfortunately the weather deteriorates and we will have heavy rain half of the day.

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In Andorra we have some great views below Coll d' Ordino
Below Collada de Toses we see this promising sign but rain and fog develop
Raining cats and dogs on Col d' Ares
Thomas runs out of fuel but I can rescue him.
Save back to the hotel. Packing starts
We close the evening with dinner, wine and chatting about the tour
8 The journey back ...

... brings me via Paris to Berlin

In Paris-Orly (ORY) I notice that the motorbike taxis still exist. Nothing for sensitive people but quick.
Thomas and Rico do arrive for unloading the next morning. There is fog and the leaves of the trees im my road have fall colors.