Our 2008 holidays started with the car for practical reasons (we were going to a Wedding) and also to save money as the fuel prices in France were like mad and it was better to do as many kilometres as possible with one tank. The area is very nice there and it was the best period as the lavenders were blooming.
We’ll defo have to come back with the bikes.
We didn’t stay long in France and we went back to Barcelona to leave the car and take the bikes. We had planned to go to Asturias, with some stops in the Pyrenees.
We took the following roads:
Barcelona-Tarrega through dual carriage way. Then C53 to Balaguer, then C13 that goes by the fantastic road of Camarasa reservoir with also fantastic views. Then Tremp, La Pobla de Segur and we stopped for lunch in Senterada.
We had stopped there a couple of years back on our way back from a rally. We had then been eating some fabulous “torradas” (big slices of farmhouse bread) and the owner had us tasting some homemade pork products. Yummy. So we had decided to come back… And we asked for some “torradas” and they brought: bread (as much as we wanted), with tomatoes and garlic from their back garden for the “pan con tomate” (you rub them on the bread, and add olive oil), and ham from the village, 3 kinds of dried homemade sausages, and 3 kinds of homemade cheese. So when we finished my husband wouldn’t fit in his leather suit anymore lol and we almost had to stay there for the night! Lol
Well we finally proceeded through Pont de Suert, Castejón de Sos, Ainsa (beautiful road along a gorge) and ended up in Bielsa where we would stop for a couple of nights.
In Bielsa they were kind enough to welcome us with a beautiful full moon coming out from behind the mountains, and a bar provided the use of a telescope to their clients against just buying one drink.
The following day we had planned to go for a loop going through the French side and going up (and down) a few of the famous “Tour de France” ports. There is a tunnel separating France and Spain. On the Spanish side there wasn’t a lot of sunshine, but it didn’t seem it was going to rain. Though when we went out of the tunnel, we got welcomed with some thick fog, and we had to go down the port at 20km/h. After a while down, the fog was gone but it was still quite cloudy. We tried anyway to go up the road to the “Col d’Aspin”. After a few kilometres we had to turn back, as the fog was back again, and there is no point going up the road to a foggy port with no view.
We had our lunch in a French village (I won’t reproduce the conversations I heard from other clients next as they made me feel ashamed of being French at that time…), and we went back to the Spanish side.
On the other side the sun was now shining and we could enjoy the nice views, and stop a few times for taking pictures.
We also had a “technical” stop: I was going in the front, and just before a big bend, I see behind me that my husband is beeping the horn and stops on the very narrow hard shoulder (on the bend). I stop and think “Ok, the landscape is beautiful but he must have gone mad to stop in the middle of a bend”… I walk up to him and he says “my bike just stopped”, and at the same time I see him putting a funny face, and he tells me “nothing, I think I may have touched the red ignition button”…
Well, those things happen… so as we were there, we took a couple of pictures and also picked up and ate a few strawberries which were there waiting for us on the banks.
The following day we started our journey to Asturias again, leaving the hotel very early in the morning and enjoying some unforgettable views between Bielsa and Ainsa, with the sun beams coming from the top of the mountains. There is no picture of those beautiful moments, but I have them imprinted in my memory.
We followed to Boltaña, Broto, Biescas and Sabiñanigo and then Jaca to Pamplona. The next stop was close to Laredo where he had a late dinner with some friends. We arrived in Asturias very late… There is no graphic memory of that part as we spent most of our time with friends from bar to restaurant…
As we didn’t get enough kilometres done yet, a few days later we headed West again, to Ferrol, Galicia. The weather was not great there to go with the bikes, so we just had some rest and on our way back, we went through the National Park of “Ancares” where we stopped for
Then we proceeded to León where we stopped for the night and went for a tourist walk, and the next day I was heading back to Barcelona while Juan was going back to Asturias for an additional week.
Quite a few kilometres in 2 weeks, it was nice!
On our bucket list to go back to Bielsa for more days and at last go through the roads of the “Tour de France” with their many ports.