Day 3 - Pyrenees

17/06/2016

Before I went to sleep last night I looked at a map and decided that in the morning I will go to Gavarnie and do mountain pass Col des Tentes. Then see where road takes me next.

This was the route I did that day:

Pau – Gavarnie – Col des Tentes – Gavarnie – Col du Tourmalet – Arreau – a bit towards Spain – back to Arreau – Vielha – Sort – Andorra

Below is my first video from this trip (music is really bad as I had problems with Youtube removing music). 

It was good to see mountains after so many miles of boring motorways. Ride finally started getting interesting.

Stopped in Gavarnie for a bit:

And then set off to do first mountain pass, Col des Tentes:

Views at the top were breathtaking. Went back to Gavarnie and checked the map. Decided to head towards Vielha next. My sat nav showed me long route round using the motorways (the fastest route) but I didn’t want to use motorways. I could see some road through the mountains, so took that route.

This mountain road turned out to be famous Col du Tourmalet. There were quite few other bikers that I spoke to and who took me a picture.

I kept going towards Vielha. At some point I was meant to take a turn but decided to keep going straight simply because road was really nice to ride and it looked sunny that way. And I wasn’t wrong, road was amazing, so was weather and so were views. As soon as I crossed the border to Spain torrential rain started though so I turned back to Arreau and kept going towards Vielha. Stopped in a restaurant in Vielha to get something to eat. Had Spaghetti that was really nice – it was one of not many times that I actually had something proper to eat during this trip as normally I just have something quick when I’m on the road. Then I kept going to Sort and ended up in Andorra.

When I was in Vielha or Sort I checked hotel booking app to find some cheap hotel as it was getting late. I was really lucky this time – found a 4 star hotel for £20 pounds in Andorra. Usually prices for 2 star hotels are around £30-35, so £20 for a 4 star hotel was really cheap.

If I was going to do this trip again, I would have spent at least one more day in Pyrenees. As I realised later, after I came back home, I missed many good roads. I will probably come back there one day. On a plus side I had more time to spend in Alps later where views were even more breathtaking, and managed to get as far as Stelvio. If I spent more time in Pyrenees then I wouldn’t have enough time to make Stelvio pass.