Again to the Pyrenees and again with Marcellus and Extreme Tours.
Six of us are going: Marcellus, Beat, Wolfgang, Franz, Andi and I.
The weather this time will make us slightly deviate from the planned route but we will get again many beautiful routes, great landscapes and great food.
I ride 2000 miles, 1250 of which in the Pyrenees.
Here is a video compiling the 2500 pictures taken by Marcellus, Andi, Franz and myself during the tour.
We are six. On the picture from left to right Beat, Wolfgang, Marcellus, Franz, Andi and Tom
We have split the group. Andi, Franz and I go together.
Beat and Marcellus form the second group.
And Wolfgang drives around us on routes modified for the car.
The journey to the Pyrenees
The Pyrenees are quite far away. Therefore, the journey takes two days. I ride to Franz and from there we go with the trailer to the starting point in Perpignan. Andi rides to Marcellus. They go with the trailer first to Beat and from there to Perpignan. Wolfgang drives first to the Vercors and then continues to Perpignan.
The bikes of Andi and Marcellus on the trailer.
The bikes of Franz and myself are on the trailer.
Nice dinner at Beat's place
Franz and I have dinner with Dagmar.
Dagmar's menu for the upcoming week
Franz and I leave early in the morning and reach France in the morning. But there are still 500 miles to Perpignan ahead of us.
Marcellus, Beat and Andi have traveled overnight and are already exploring Perpignan.
We reach Perpignan in the afternoon.
The first day of driving. The route first goes along the Mediterranean Sea before we turn into the mountains. The weather forecast is not so great. We will get rain. Later in the day on Coll de la Creueta it rains heavily and we get into thick fog. But we had the beautiful coastal road before that and also good Spanish food for lunch.
We try to get the tree to the side. But we do not succeed and we have to look for a new route.
Palm trees at the Mediterranean Sea
The costal road winds itself into Spain.
View from Eastern ramp of Alt de Trona
Fog on Coll de la Creueta
Prullans - Benasque
The weather is still not that great. It rained heavily overnight and it's still raining. On the way to Port de Pailhères we see the snow in the higher elevations and decide to head west. We quickly reach dry areas and on the Port de la Bonaigua we meet the snow we would have had on the Port de Pailhères and on the 1200 ft higher Port d'Envalira. Here it is also cold, but dry. We would have had to move through snow showers on the planned route.
View from the hotel in the morning
We get ready in the underground car park protected from the rain.
Stop at Solar power plant Heliodyssee-Grand Four Solaire Odeillo
We go west and the sky gets blue.
Morning coffee in La Seu d'Urgell
Eastern ramp of Port del Cantó
View at Mirador Port del Cantó
We proceed on the Eastern ramp
Lunch in Noguera Pallaresa valley
Climbing Port de la Bonaigua
Coffee break in the warmth just before reaching the destination
Benasque - Southwestern loop
Originally, we were to go to the Col du Tourmalet on the French side. There, however, it is supposed to rain turning into snow. Therefore, we modify the route and drive rather to the west and south. We discover a new pass for us, the Puerto de Serrablo with very bad road but magnificent views. The Cañon de Añisclo was on the list, but unfortunately it is closed.
Marcellus explores Benasque in the morning.
Tom explains the new plan.
At the start the sun comes over the mountains.
Some stops due to construction works
Unfortunately, Cañon de Añisclo is closed.
Marcellus and Beat find a side road with great views.
Franz, Andi and I follow the main route on the N260 and are already having our morning coffee.
We ride the Puerto de Serrablo for the first time.
Magnificient view on Puerto de Serrablo
Old church in a reservoir
Again construction site stops on our way back
Benasque - La Seu d'Urgell
The weather is getting better and better. We move on to La Seu d'Urgell.
Today we go over the Coll de Montilobar, the Coll de Bóixols, a great paella from Mama in the Cantina de Llinars awaits us and we drive for the first time over the Coll d'Arnat with a short piece of gravel road.
Getting ready in the morning
Sheep on Coll de Montilobar
View on Coll de Montilobar
View of the east ramp of Coll de Montilobar. In the valley is Tremp and there we will get our morning coffee.
A whole squadron of vultures passes by.
Promising sign at the bottom of the western ramp of Coll de Bóixols
Another promising sign. Not so nice are 20 km (12 miles) gravel. We go over Coll de Boix and Coll de Jou to Cantina de Llinars.
Beat and Marcellus on top of Coll de Jou
Gravel road on Coll d'Arnat
Western ramp of Coll d'Arnat
La Seu d'Urgell - Southern loop
It is still very cold in the morning. After the good tapas dinner, we now go on a southern loop over fast but lonely roads. Especially impressive is a well preserved but overgrown road on the way. We reach our planned lunch spot too early. But that doesn't matter, because the roads continue to wind wonderfully. The Coll de Merolla is incredibly curvy and also surprises us with two donkeys. And in the second attempt we enjoy the Coll de la Creueta in brilliant sunshine.
Morning coffee at Cal Petit owned by rallye rider Isedre Esteve Pujol
We are too early at Cal Majoral. But Beat, Wolfgang and Marcellus get there a little later excellent lunch.
We get our lunch in Ripoll.
It's too warm and we need to get rid of some clothes.
Eastern ramp of Coll de la Creueta with view to Castellar de n'Hug
Eastern ramp of Coll de la Creueta with view to Castellar de n'Hug
Dinner with tapas galore...
...including pig ears (named mountain octopus)...
...and local herbal liquor
La Seu d'Urgell - Perpignan
Already the last day of the tour. We drive back to Perpignan. But before that we go through Andorra and France, back to Spain and then back to France. We have the best weather and also get the typical Catalan sausage.
We go into Andorra. It is quite cold.
The remains of snow from Monday on the Port d'Envalira
Morning coffee in 7200 ft elevation
Back to France over Col de Puymorens
Sun power plant at 4800 ft elevation
Sun power plant Thémis Solaire Innvoation
At the bottom of Collada de Toses
Catalan sausage for lunch in Ripoll
Coll d'Ares - The last real pass
The palm trees indicate the Mediterranean Sea being close
Bikes back to the trailer
Beat loading a bike onto the trailer
The journey back home
Again two days are needed. We leave early in the morning and reach Franz's house in the evening. The next day, I drive on early as well. It is foggy and very cold. Around noon the temperatures are double-digit (above 10 C = 50 F) Fortunately, I have little traffic and after the fog also beautiful sun.
The bike in the rear view mirror
Assembly work before unloading
It is quite cold in the morning.
View to the fog from viewpoint Schwalbenthal