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  #1  
Old 29 Dec 2003
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Pyrenees

Hi,
next year in June I intend to spend 7-8 days cruising through France/Spanish Pyrenees mountains, mostly on macadam roads and interested in isolated places out of major crowded tourist routes. Any suggestions or recommandation and your expiriences are more than welcome.
Tnx,
AnteK, XTZ 660
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  #2  
Old 29 Dec 2003
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Get hold of the two yellow Michelin maps covering this area. Then stick to the minor roads as much as possible. The nicest places should be on the dead-end roads, up the mountain sides.

The valley leading up to the Col de Somport was very nice. The red rocks at the top of the col are stunning in the right light. Unfortunately, the French are building a motorway up the valley to connect with the recently opened tunnel, so check it out while there is any scenery left! No more trucks on the pass, though.

Avoid Andorra, particularly on the weekends. It's choked with traffic, particularly on the weekends, when the French and Spanish come for the tax-free shopping. It's not part of the EU. Apparently it's THE place to buy your bike gear; but you need to bargain hard. It must be Europe's last bazaar.

If it's raining on the French side cross over. Chances are the sun is shining on the Southern side.

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Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Peter.
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  #3  
Old 30 Dec 2003
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Don't forget that it can be quite cool up at the top of the passes (and also in the ascent/descent if you are not in sunlight) even in June - I went through from France to Spain 2 years ago, in late June, there was still lots of snow at the side of the roads.

So, gloves, warm jacket, warm pants etc. are a must.
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  #4  
Old 30 Dec 2003
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Hi,
dont worry about possibility of rainy and cold weather, I got used with that on the north of Scandinavia and in Norway. That could be charmy in some way :-) What about camping and campsites, are widely spread in mountains or not? Furthermore, what about tourists, more than in Alps or less ? I hope that dont have to pay fee for a mountain passes :-)
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AnteK, XTZ 660
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  #5  
Old 31 Dec 2003
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I didn't see very many "tourists" when I went through in June of 2002, but I did meet quite a few "travellers". In other words, no caravans, etc. but quite a few bikers.

Not sure what the camping is like - I don't do that, I stay in pensions.

No road taxes or fees of any kind that I can recall.
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  #6  
Old 1 Jan 2004
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PanEuropean - What are pensions?

Ghostrider
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  #7  
Old 2 Jan 2004
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ghostrider130:
[B]PanEuropean - What are pensions?

Rented rooms, privat accomodations.
AnteK
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  #8  
Old 19 Jan 2004
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All the coast line from Arcachon down to Bayonne lovely quiet beaches in June. Dune du pilat is the largest sand dune in Europe about 375ft high and 2 miles long. In Arcachon my front tyre delaminated and i had to get a new £60 fully fitted
regards
Gary
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  #9  
Old 19 Jan 2004
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I can recommend two campsites in the Pyrenees.

1. Ainsa - just the other side of the river from the village. Has a pool, small supermarket & plenty of space.

2. Huesca - in the foothills of the spanish Pyrenees. Larger town. quite interesting, campsite is quite shaded & pleasant & only a short walk from the town centre.

It's worth your while doing a bit research an Spanish fiestas before starting your trip. They can be quite geand affairs that last all night with the whole town turning out in regional costumes. Huesca's fiesta is mid-August.

Steve
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Old 23 Jan 2004
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Originally posted by garyfzs1000:
All the coast line from Arcachon down to Bayonne lovely quiet beaches in June. Dune du pilat is the largest sand dune in Europe about 375ft high and 2 miles long.

Hi,
what about offroad along the beach and over the dune? Allowed or forbiden? I have seen on a map many marks of campsites what aludes on crowded area. Right of wrong?
Thx,
AnteK
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  #11  
Old 6 Feb 2004
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will be in the area 21 June - 28 June if anyone is about give me a shout

John
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  #12  
Old 10 Feb 2004
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Michelin maps 86 for Eastern Pyrenees, 85 for Western Pyrenees, will help you find the little scenic roads. If you don't want to buy a map, try www.viamichelin or you could try the following 300 km circuit. NB: These are very scenic and twisty roads, and you may come across crazy French drivers coming towards you on your side, so I would recommend taking it easy. I'd suggest at least two days, or more if you want to explore some of the neat little side roads and cols.

There are some fantastic roads West of Foix and there is a very cheap public campground just NW of Foix. So, if you start there, take the D17 over the Col de Marrous to Col de la Crouzette 40kms. Left onto the D18 to Biert, then right onto the infamous D618 and Gorges de Ribaouto to St Girons. In St Girons the D618 turns left, continue to the end of the D618 via Col de Portet d'Aspet, Col de Buret, Col des Ares. The end of the D618 is about halfway.

Then take the N125 eastwards to St Beat. East again on D44 via Col de Mente, back up onto D618 and back over the Col de Portet d'Aspet. 18 kms after this Col, just after Audressein, turn right onto D4 to Castillon and then after the village take D17 to Vallee de Bethmale. Follow this road to Seix. Then take either the D17 or easier D3 north about 5-8 kms until you come across the D618 again. Follow the D618 east until you get back to the main road near Tarascon. Then north back to Foix.

There are fewer roads on the Spanish side, but you could do a larger loop ending up at the halfway point of the circuit mentioned above. From Foix take the main road N20/E9 to Ax-les-Thermes, and continue south. The road splits and you can either take the N22 via Andorra to Seo de Urgel in Spain, (not recommended in weekends) or the longer way (by 20 kms) on the N320 over the Col de Puymorens to Ur and Bourg-Madame, then N260 to Ger and on to Seo de Urgel. Then take the N260 to Sort then C147 to Llavorsi and Esterri d'Aneu, then the C142 to Vielha. Turn right onto the N230 which will take you back into France, and St Beat - the halfway point of the first circuit. This route is about 350 kms from Foix to St Beat.

There is a nice motorcycle-friendly campground on the Spanish side near a lake, but I've lost the details. Will write again if I find them.

Warm regards, Jenny
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  #13  
Old 10 Feb 2004
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Tnx Jenny, that is an answer!
:-)
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  #14  
Old 13 Feb 2004
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Hi
Not sure if you can ride on the beach, but the beaches are so long nobody would know, people were pulling jet skis with quads so i dont see why not plus the French love motorbikes
Regards Gaz
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  #15  
Old 16 Feb 2004
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Don't forget that the altitude will screw with your carburation. The pyrenees don't seem very high, but my old GPZ11 had 40mm mikuni race carbs and that coughed & packed up going over the passes.
It would burn diesel at sea level but asthmatic at altitude.
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