Pyrenees, October 2022 −  Travels −  Captain Tom

Pyrenees, October 2022

The next trip to the Pyrenees and again with Marcellus and Extreme-Tours.

This time we set out to do the whole route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic and back. So we have a mixture of known and new.

The weather is very gracious to us this time. In the morning it is quite fresh and there is morning fog but then the sun comes out and it becomes very pleasant. Only on the last 100 kilometers we have some rain.

1All Pictures

Here is a video with all 2900 pictures taken during our tour compiled in five minutes

2The participants

We are a group of 10 people this time

From left to right: Marcellus, Michi sr., Michi jr., Beat, Wolfgang, Andi, Franz, Marcus, Achim and me (Tom)
I ride most of the time with Michi jr., Andi, Marcus and Franz
3The journey to the Pyrenees

The journey to the starting point in Perpignan on the Mediterranean Sea is, as always, quite exhausting and time-consuming. I drive across the country to Franz. The next morning we continue by car and trailer to Perpignan, where we arrive in the afternoon.
The rest of the group drives from Munich, Duisburg and Frankfurt first to Gresse-en-Vercors, stays overnight in the hotel Le Chalet and the next day they continue to Perpignan.

I start at sunset in Berlin
I go on a ferry twice. This is ferry Aken across river Elbe
Ferry Brucke (Rothenburg) across river Saale
I get my Thuringian Bratwurst
The bikes get on a trailer at Franz' place
The other bikes get on a trailer too
Coffee and cake at Beat's place
In the hotel Le Chalet in Gresse-en-Vercors
The chef gets the award of the group
Franz and I on our way to Perpignan
There is an event with old motorcycles in Gresse-en-Vercors
Departure of the group of classic bikes
We meet on a rest area in France
Pyrenees get in sight
Bikes got unloaded in Perpignan
Joint dinner in Perpignan

The first day of the tour takes us on the coastal road along the Mediterranean Sea to Spain.
Before that, we pass the Tour Madeloc. The road is new to us. Last year we could not drive it because of a fallen tree. Magnificent view of the French Mediterranean coast from there.
In Spain we turn away from the coast into the mountains and we drive over the first passes. Beautiful as always and in brilliant light especially splendid is the Col de la Creueta, which we reach in the afternoon shortly before our destination Prullans.

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Getting ready for the tour
Brilliant sun in the morning
Tour Madeloc
View to the coast from Tour Madeloc
At the viewpoint
Entering Spain
Morning coffee in Roses
We proceed
Coastal road in Spain
Nice Lunch in Tossa de Mar
Stop at a viewpoint at Alt de la Trona
View from Alt de la Trona
Riding up Alt de la Trona to the viewpoint
The Coll de Batallola is narrow and bumpy. This leads to scratches and duct tape repairs.
Nice view on Coll de la Creueta
Coll de la Creueta
I build the tracklog in the evening

A well-known route.
The morning fog creates a great atmosphere in the valley, but quickly disappears.
In France we pass the Port de Pailhères. Then we continue towards and through Andorra with the magnificent pass Col d'Ordino.
Lunch is a bit difficult but we find something nice in Spain.
Then it goes pretty quickly via Puerto del Cantó, Port de la Bonaigua and two more passes to the Hotel Ciria in Benasque, where again a great menu for dinner awaits us.

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Morning fog in the valley
Morning fog
Sun power plant Heliodyssee-Grand Four Solaire
Sightseeing just for Michi
Ride in Aude valley
Morning coffee
Port de Pailhères
360 panorama of Port de Pailhères
Marcus looks for pictures
View on Port de Pailhères
The other group arrives
Riding up Port de Pailhères
View to Col d'Ordino in Andorra
Lunch in Spain
Quick ride over Puerto del Cantó
Port de la Bonaigua

Now we're off to the Basque country.
But before that we drive the great Tour de France passes Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Col du Soulor and Col d'Aubisque.
In the territory new to me, the beauty and solitude of the Col d'Arthaburu near the border between France and Spain surprises me.

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Getting ready in the morning
Ride through Ésera gorge
A construction site stops us for 30 minutes
Late morning coffee in France
Nice cows on top of Col d'Aspin
Llamas on Col du Tourmalet
Westbound view from Col du Tourmalet
We are there
Riding the western ramp of Col du Tourmalet
Horses on Col du Soulor
Riding the eastern ramp of Col d'Aubisque
Eastbound view on Col d'Aubisque
Westbound view on Col d'Aubisque
Lunch on Col d'Aubisque
Us five on Col d'Aubisque
Old vehicle
Horses on the road
Tom enjoys the view on Col d'Arthaburu
View from Col d'Arthaburu
The hotel
Hotel owner and chef
The hotel is suitable for motorbike riders
A cat requests care
7Aincille-Sos del Rey Católico

The highlight in two respects.
We reach the Atlantic Ocean and we reach Sos del Rey Católico, a medieval town on a hill with the most beautiful hotel of the tour.
However, we have to work hard to get there. The roads around San Sebastian are really clogged with cars and are no fun at all. After reaching the Atlantic Ocean, however, the ride becomes more pleasant.

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The first pass in the morning
Morning coffee on Col de Lizarrieta at the border between France and Spain
Marina of Getaria
At the ocean. In the background Getaria peninsula
Us five at the ocean
A chat before we move on
Lunch is difficult this day but we find something eventually
Long straight roads bring us back into the mountains
Sos del Rey Católico
View out of the hotel window
Sos del Rey Católico
Spheric panorama of Sos del Rey Católico
Sos del Rey Católico
We get beer on the street in the evening
Later this evening dinner with Tapas
8Sos del Rey Católico-La Seu d'Urgell

We have to make distance in order to progress back towards the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, we ride some highway-like roads (autovias). However, some bumpy roads hold us up a bit. Especially the road away from Sos del Rey Católico is very unpleasant to drive.
This is compensated by magnificent passes like the Col de Montllobar, the Coll de Bóixols and surprisingly at the end of the day's stage the Coll de la Trava, which was very rough two years ago and can now be driven nicely.

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Sunrise in Sos del Rey Católico on departure in the morning
Here is a video of the ride on the A1601 near Sos del Rey Católico. The Africa Twin of Michi sr. has very comfortable suspension. The roughness of the road can be seen at most in the speed driven.
We pass Torreón de Navardún
Nice view back to Berdún
Crossing river Aragón
Morning coffee in between
On top of Col de Montllobar
As always there are many birds of prey in the sky
View from Col de Montllobar towards Tremp
Lunch in Tremp
Coll de Bóixols promises many turns
View from Coll de Bóixols
Franz on Coll de Bóixols
Coll de Bóixols
Michi sr., Achim and Marcellus on Coll de Bóixols
Again 40 km (25 miles) turns over Coll de Boix and Coll de Jou
At the viewpoint Mirador de la Traba on Coll de la Trava
View from Mirador de la Traba towards La Seu d'Urgell
Dinner with Tapas
9La Seu d'Urgell-Perpignan

The last day of the tour takes us from Spain to Andorra, France, Spain to France back to the Mediterranean Sea in Perpignan. We are somewhat decimated in the group. Marcus drives ahead and Andi has to change tires in Andorra.
So we drive as a group of three and enjoy the beautiful roads at the border between France and Spain near Puigcerda.
In the evening the trailers are loaded again and we have a nice dinner together.

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We enter Andorra
A very busy police officer shows the way
On top of La Peguera
La Peguera
Andi has to change tires
Coll d'Ordino
Sun power plant Thémis Innovació Solar
Sightseeing for Michi jr.
The very twisty road D618 close to Puigcerda. One can see the tower of the sun power plant in a distance.
Morning coffee in Llívia, a Spanish exclave in France
Collada de Toses promises 45 km (28 miles) of turns
Collada de Toses (Franz follows Tom)
Collada de Toses (Marcus)
Lunch in Ripoll is somewhat sparse
Rain hits us 100 km (60 miles) before reaching our destination
The last pass is Coll d'Ares and brings us back to France
Coll d'Ares
We pass Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste
We ride the Tech valley
Bikes get back on the trailer in Perpignan
Bikes on the trailer
Tom builds the tracklog and collects the pictures
10Die Heimreise

Again two days. First it goes with car and trailer from Perpignan 1200 kilometers (750 miles) back to Franz in the Westerwald.
The next day I drive the remaining 600 kilometers (375 miles) from there home to Berlin. Again I have morning fog and crisp cold in the morning and later brilliant sun and beautiful fall colors.

Morning fog
It is quite cold (2 C = 35 F)
Fog in the valley at viewpoint Schwalbenthal at Hoher Meißner mountain
Ferry Aken across river Elbe
Fall colors on a tree lined road in Brandenburg

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