Pyrenees Cross

The Alps are spectacular. The Abruzzos are lonely. The Pyrenees are wild. The start of the Tour de France is getting closer. We are already in their wake. In the Cévennes we find traces of the Tour from last year.

In Lézignan-Corbières, the Camping Municipal advertises accommodation during the rest day of the tour in Carcassonne later in July. A beautiful campsite that has a very good chance of reaching our top 10/2022. We let ourselves be served nicely and have the diner menu here.

One day later, the Municipal Camping in Quillan. Like in Lézignan-Corbières, there is also a pool here.
Lac de Salagou

From Lac de Salagou these are our two intermediate stages towards the Pyrenees. The special thing about Lac de Salagou is the red earth. However, the charisma does not have a positive effect on everyone.

Then it goes to the Aude and even more gorges and rivers. France does not need regional parks to protect these areas.
It is our royal stage which takes us over the Pyrenees, the Col de la Quillane, after a good 90 kilometers and 1750 meters of altitude through the Catalan Pyrenees to Puigcerda, the capital of La Cerdenya, Spain. A large campsite with panoramic view at 1200m altitude, with bar, pool and showers, under which it is difficult for us to turn off the water, is the relaxing oasis after the challenging stage. We spend the evening in the pretty town of Puigcerda and enjoy the Spanish temperament. People who enjoy the summer outside in a cheerful and loud way.

Puigcerda
Puigcerda

Meanwhile, the Tour de France in faraway Denmark goes on the second stage.

We were looking for something: a Pyrenean cross from east to west, feasible by travel bike. It was not that easy. Most of them go from west to east, namely from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, towards the good weather. Many with the road bike and infinite altitude meters, some with the mountain bike and minimal luggage, most on the French side with the legendary Cols.

Rolf, planning the route on one of the few bad weather days

We find what we are looking for. The N260 is the road that is made for us. We ride them almost 500 kilometers. It runs halfway up between 700 and 1700 meters altitude, is very varied, has numerous cols, many gorges, serpentines, great views and surprisingly low traffic.

The N260 runs from Olot in Catalonia, through Aragona, to Sabinanigo, and thus quite parallel to the famous GR 11, GR 10 and Spanish-French border trails.
We have missed the supermarket. Three years ago, we often shopped there during our trip through Spain.

Before that, we build a detour to Andorra with the highest capital of Europe.

Photo stop in Pallerols, in the middle of nowhere
N260: Tunnel bypass for walkers and cyclists

Camping Collegats Day 1 after the second stage of the Pyrenees. Catalan is spoken here – Bon Dia and Bonna Nit. At night the thunderstorm begins. Again and again it rains, thunders and flashes. We have a nice place, with lots of trees, opportunity to sit down, a nice bar, and the time to stay a day. How is Pierette doing, who has a tight schedule for her Pyrenees Cross. In addition, thin tires and minimal luggage? Pierette from Utrecht, we invited her the day before to pasta with tomato sauce. She also takes the challenge from east to west, from Rillon to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
We are in the only corner of Europe where you can find the four vulture species Bearded Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Monk Vulture and Dirty Vulture, as well as thick toads.

Camping Collegats: Travel guides from the area are at least available in Austria
The toads are happy about the rain and come out of their shelter
Water from the Pyrenees. We have noodles today, as usually.
Camping Laspaúles, 1400am, here we meet the old Sir from the Midlands who is so enthusiastic about us cyclists which remembers him of his times.
The highway-like section of the N260.
Camping la Gorge in Boltaña
The campsite offers swimming in the Rio Ara or in the pool. In the heat the river is by far the better option.
Stich to Torla-Ordesa, our last destination for the time being, before we cross the Pyrenees again towards France
First of two passes for today.
On the way to the second pass for today.
At an altitude above 1700, the cows run around freely.
We make it. The pass is the border between Spain and France.

Thanks a million to our fans who reminded us to report on our adventures again! Sometimes it takes time. The stages are long, the temperatures are high, the electricity on the computer is low or the Wi-Fi is poor. We apologize for late publishing. It’s lovely to know that you follow us 🙂

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