9 days, 4350 miles, 1 girl, 1 motorbike – Pyrenees and Alps – Part 2
17/06/2016 – day 3
My previous post was about the start of this trip. I finished on when I got to Pau in France. Before I went to sleep, I looked at my map with markers and decided that in the morning I will head to Gavarnie and do mountain pass Col des Tentes.
The route from this day was like this:
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, the music is really bad in it as I had problems with YouTube removing copyrighted music as I learnt later.
It was exciting to see mountains after so many miles of motorways, and the closer I was getting to them the more exciting the ride was getting.
Then I got to Gavarnie and stopped for a wee bit:
And then set off to do my first mountain pass, Col des Tentes:
The views at the top were breathtaking. Went back to Gavarnie and looked at the map. Decided to head towards Vielha. My sat nav was showing me a long route round using the motorways (apparently the fastest route) but I didn’t want to use motorways. Looked closer at the map and I could see some road through the mountains, so took that route.
Stopped at the Tourmalet:
The were quite a few other bikers there that I spoke to and who took me a picture (also had a picture with a cyclist statue but I think I lost it).
EDIT – found it:
Then 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 so nice to ride and mainly because I wanted to follow the sun and it looked sunny if I kept going straight, also views looked really good so I thought I would keep going straight and see what’s there. And I wasn’t wrong, road was amazing, so was weather and so were views. However as soon as I crossed the border to Spain torrential rain started and I turned back to Arreau and kept going to Vielha. Stopped to have something to eat, had Spaghetti that was really good – it was one of not many times that I actually had something proper to eat during this trip as normally I just have some quick food. Then I kept going to Sort and ended up in Andorra.
When I was in Vielha or Sort I checked hotel booking map and again was looking for the cheapest hotels I could find. Here I was really lucky – a 4 star hotel for £20 pounds. Usually the prices for 2 star hotels were at least £30/35, so £20 for a 4 star hotel was really cheap. Below is the only picture I took (bed was really comfy!)
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. Maybe I will come back there one day. On a good side I managed to do a lot mountain passes in Alps where views were a lot more breathtaking, and got as far as Stelvio. If I spent more time in Pyrenees then I would never make it as far as Stelvio on this trip.