Pyrenees, September 2023 −  Travels −  Captain Tom

Pyrenees, September 2023

And again to the Pyrenees.
This year again on the original route and again with Marcellus and Extreme Tours.
This time we have the best weather. Sun and warmth all the time. On the French Tour de France passes it is sometimes foggy and otherwise overcast but there is no rain on the whole tour and very pleasant temperatures.
1All Pictures

Here is a video with all pictures taken by Marcellus and myself during the tour

Alle Bilder
2The participants

This time there are seven of us. Six ride a motorcycle and Wolfgang drives suitable routes with his car.

From left to right Beat, Klaus, Hans-Gerd, Marcellus, Tom, Felix und Wolfgang
Most of the time I ride with Felix and Hans-Gerd
3The journey to the starting point

The Pyrenees are very far away. This time I make the journey in three days.
First I drive 700km from Berlin to Marcellus at the Ammersee. There we load the bikes on the trailer.
The next day we move on to Beat, where Klaus also joins us. Their bikes go on the trailer and then we go to the French Vercors to Gresse-en-Vercors to the hotel Le Châlet. There we meet Wolfgang as well. The next day we continue to Perpignan to the meeting point.

Felix and Hans-Gerd also drive with the trailer to Perpignan.

In the very beginning I get into a huge traffic jam on the Autobahn
I ride through the Altmühl valley
It goes through the hop-growing regions of the Hallertau
Lake Ammersee in sight
Bikes are on the trailer
Incremental load at Beat's place
Nice dinner in the hotel Le Châlet
We present the badge of honor to Christoph and the two ladies
Cécile and Florence get some extra Chocolate
We end the day with a nice nightcap
The next day we continue and pass by Narbonne with its cathedral.
Offloading at destination

Today, the beautiful coastal road along the Mediterranean Sea is on the agenda. It is very warm there.
In the afternoon we turn into the mountains and have as a highlight the beautiful pass Coll de la Creueta in the late afternoon.

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Nice coastal villages
We get into Spain
Lunch in Saint Feliu de Guíxols directly at the shore
View at lunch
Last view into the plains at Alt de la Trona
Castellar de n'Hug
View on Col de la Creueta
Col de la Creueta
Felix and Hans-Gerd

A dream day.
In the morning sun over fog and then sun and very pleasant temperatures.
We drive across numerous borders. From Spain to France, Spain, France, Andorra to Spain.
In the evening we have an adventure with the local police in Vielha, about 70 kilometers before the day's destination Benasque.

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In the morning the view from the hotel shows sun over fog
A hot air balloon touches down
We visit a sun power plant
Port de Pailhéres presents a brilliant Eastern ramp
Col de Pailhéres
Col de Pailhéres
Col de Pailhéres
In Andorra we go over Port d'Envalira
We find a nice place for lunch
Heavy traffic in Andora la Vella
Marcellus spots us in a distance going up the Port del Cantó
On Port del Cantó
Port del Cantó
Later on Port de la Bonaigua
An adventure with the local police of Vielha.
We overtake a civilian police car by crossing a solid line, the car turns on the lights and stops Hans-Gerd.
I wait with Felix a little further down the road and we get called back by the officer. I turn around and drive back on the opposite lane despite the solid line.
The policeman gets very upset that I have crossed the solid line twice.
I get a ticket for 200 Euros (instant pay 100 Euros) and so does Hans-Gerd.
In total, four police cars and nine policemen are on the scene.
200 Euros for Changing direction on a highway in a place not authorized to do so.
6Benasque-Northern loop to France

A really long route is on the program. We want to go over the big Tour de France passes of the Pyrenees.
In the morning we need to spontaneously reverse the direction of our round trip because of a construction site.
In France it is overcast and on the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d'Aubisque it is foggy.
As soon as we are back in Spain it gets sunny and warm again.
But the highlight is the sighting of a vulture on the Hourquette d'Ancizan directly at the side of the road. The animals are very rare and we were very lucky to see it so closely.
We arrive back at the hotel just before sunset.

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Very rich breakfast in Hotel Ciria
Construction site - we need to turn around
A vulture
On Hourquette d'Ancizan
The donkey does hardly move
We find a very nice restaurant for lunch
Tour de france paintings on Col du Tourmalet
Col du Tourmalet with fog
We ride via Col du Soulor to Col d'Aubisque
From Col du Soulor to Col d'Aubisque
Col d'Aubisque
Col du Pourtalet - back to Spain
In the end the Ésera gorge. It was closed in the morning
7Benasque-La Seu d'Urgell

Today several highlights.
First, there are the incredibly long passes Coll de Bóixols and Coll de Jou, each with almost 40 kilometers of turns, and then there is La Cantina de Llinars, where we get a paella made by mom for lunch. Very tasty.
In the evening, tires are get replaced and there are good tapas for dinner.

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Getting ready in the morning
Very empty reservoirs
Coll de Montllobar
Coll de Montllobar
35 kilometers turns on Coll de Bóixols
Felix, Tom, Hans-Gerd on Coll de Bóixols
Viewpoint Casa Cavallera on Coll de Jou
Cantina de Llinars
Paella for Lunch
Paella made by mom
Afternoon coffee before we get onto Coll de la Trava
View to La Seu d'Urgell from Mirador de la Trava
Tapas for dinner
8La Seu d'Urgell-Southern loop

We ride a big southern loop. Again over Coll de Bóixols - but in the opposite direction. And we have a fine lunch again - this time at Cal Majoral.
The afternoon belongs to the incredibly twisty pass Coll de Merolla. There are no 50 meters of straight road. We return to the hotel via Coll de la Creueta.

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I see enduro riders coming at me
Marcellus and Beat visit the Pascuet Offroad Center. This is a large enduro training area
Pascuet Offroad Center
Coll de Bóixols
Western ramp of Coll de Bóixols close to Bóixols
Coll de Bóixols
Pànta de Rialb
Castell Llebre
Castell Llebre
We all meet again at Hotel Cal Petit for a morning coffee
In a distance Castell Llebre
The owner Isidre Esteve Pujol was rallye rider
Lunch at Cal Majoral
I chase other riders on Coll de Merolla
Castellar de n'Hug
In a distance another sun power plant close to Puigcerda
9La Seu d'Urgell-Perpignan

Already the last day in the Pyrenees.
We drive through Andorra again and then wind our way through France and Spain back to Perpignan in France on the Mediterranean coast. The Collada de Toses offers another 45 kilometers of turns.
The last pass is then Coll d'Ares before heading back through the Tech Valley to the tour's starting point.

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View to Sant Julià de Lòria in Andorra
Col d'Ordino in Andorra
Viewpoint Roc del Quer in Andorra
Roc del Quer far up on the rock
I find autumn crocus at Port d'Envalira
Collada de Toses - 45 kilometers turns
Collada de Toses
Hans-Gerd and Felix pass by
Marcellus and Beat are having picnic...
...while Hans-Gerd, Felix and I get a nice lunch in Ripoll
The last pass Coll d'Ares
Prats-de-Molle-la-Preste in Tech valley
Bikes get on the trailer
Everything loaded
Final beer
The last dinner together
10The journey back home

This time only two days. That is extremely exhausting.
We drive from Perpignan directly back to Germany to the Ammersee. We're on the road from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., interrupted only by small breaks and dinner at Beat's place.
The next day, I drive the 720 kilometers back to Berlin on country roads.

Departure in the early morning
La Forteresse de Mornas
Gorges du Nan in sight
Le Revard
We release Klaus
Offloading at Beat's place
We get into Austria
The next day nice scenery in Bavaria
I have rain between Hof and Leipzig
Fall colors
In the end, I did 721 kilometers on the motorcycle that day and a total of 3,821 kilometers on 8 motorcycle riding days.

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