May 22, 2010 GMT
The Pyrenees

We've spent the last 5 days riding the Pyrenees & struggling to find any wifi access!

Cwmbran to Plymouth - 140 miles

The problem with the scottoiler turned out to be a broken injector, we stopped off to see the very helpful chaps @ South Wales Superbikes before stopping again at Fowlers in Bristol - repairs made we headed for Plymouth & the ferry.

Santander to Bilbau - 70 miles +

We arrived in Santander to glorious sunshine & unbroken blue skies. After leaving the port we saw it again 45min later due to a home sick sat nav, but then we found our way out of the city & up into the mountains. The roads were windy & steep & we stumbled across a lovely cafe for lunch before heading to Bilbau for the night.

Bilbau to Lumbier - 130 miles

No trip to Bilbau would be complete without a trip to the Guggenheim Museum, so off we went to sample modern art...
We then departed Bilbau and headed for the town of Pamplona, a very pretty town that was dead during the siesta. After lunch we headed east to Lumbier - home of the canyons.

Lumbier to Luchon (Fr) - 240 miles!

The road heading east out of Lumbier along the lake is fantastic, very fast & smooth with breath taking scenary. We then had a bit of a sat nav detour up a road that was still being built, then a lot of a detour as the tunnel we were hoping to take through to France was closed & we had to make for the next one to the east. We arrived tired & hungry in Luchon at about 9pm.

Day off 0 miles.

After our 240 mile marathon we decided to take it easy for a day so spent the day wandering around Luchon then treated ourselves to a relaxing few hours in Luchons thermal spa. We would have liked to go up the gondala to the mountain top, but it was closed until June.DSCF2131.jpg

Lourdes 120 miles

This was a day of fantastic roads, taking in the Col du Pyresnon(sp?), Col d'Aspin (below)DSCF2146.jpg & half of the Col du Tormalet They were resurfacing the Western side, but we got to the top for the views from the eastern side...DSCF2153.jpgDSCF2154.jpg
We had lunch in La Mongie & spent the afternoon in Lourdes.DSCF2181.jpg
Unbenownst to us it was international Millitary Pilgrimage day, so the place was swarming with service personal of all nationalities. Another drama befel us today when Jon's bluetooth headset decided to eat its charging pin resulting in slowly deteriating communication with the sat nav. We'll see if we can get a replacement headset along route, but for now we're relying more on the map Duncan's Dad gave us last week (circa 1980!).

Luchon to Ax les Thermes 160 miles

A fantastic ride over the mountain we rode under 3 days ago back into Spain.DSCF2186.jpg The local bikers are nuts, over taking on blind bends on the wrong side of the road crossing the solid white line while gesturing to their mates & going way faster than us. There was snow on the ground at the top and the ski runs were clearly visible. We then turned east along the Spanish mountains again before bearing north into Andorra. We headed straight through Andorra & took some lovely pix from the top looking down into France...DSCF2190.jpg
...before charging down the mountain avoiding some exceedingly dopey tourists doddering along in their big French saloons and arriving at about 6pm in Ax les Thermes.

Posted by Duncan Fortescue at May 22, 2010 09:59 PM GMT

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