Pyrenees day 7 – parts 1 and deux

Today I had to ride Col d’Aubisque. One way or another…. Also Soulor was destined to make an appearance. I’d been put off my original plan to ride them tomorrow from Laruns due to too the dodgy weather forecast…. I really hope it’s not too bad as I know Toby’s heading this way as well… Then again he’s more hardcore than me so might not mind!

Anyway, I found a circular route starting from Argeles-Gazost that took them both in as well as the wonderfully named Col De Spandalles. A full description is here and it’s pretty spot on.

Spandalles is a beautiful climb through forest, only let down by the sketchy road surface…. Not so much fun on the descent!

That leads straight on to the Soulor which is a stunning route with incredible views of the Cirque du Litor.

At the Col, I took the right turn to complete the climb to Aubisque. This is supposed to the the wrong/easier side…. Perfect! Especially with the great views!

At the top I bumped into a crowd of Brits doing the Raid Pyreneean… A great challenge… And supported with a van carrying food and gear – what a good idea! 🙂

Back via Soulor and then the main road back down to Argeles-Gazost and the campsite.

During the course of the week I’ve been noticing some pretty big looking birds of prey surfing the thermals as I’ve been struggling with the gradients. I think I’ve been seeing lammergiers and maybe griffon vultures, but I must admit that I haven’t taken enough time to study then properly! There’s also a small bird that I’ve seen a lot of…. Googling makes me think it’s a wallcreeper, but I’m open to correction!

Anyway, that’s not the end of today. I mentioned that the forecast for tomorrow is rubbish and I really don’t fancy finishing a brilliant week soaking wet. There’s also one other climb I HAD to do (as well as many others I’d LIKE to do!) and that’s Luz Ardiden. It’s about a 15km ride along the main valley road and at that time of the afternoon I frankly couldn’t be arsed! The hire car is here for a reason! So quickly throw the bike in the car and head to Luz St Savour, park up and off again.

13km, 1000m of climbing, 25 hairpins and I made it!

Another day, another spooky out of season ski resort!

A very cold descent too the car and it was back to the tent for a long hot shower followed by a couple of beers and another pizza!

Tomorrow?? Well that really depends on the weather…..

Check out “Pyrenees day 7” on Relive!

Check out “Pyrenees day 7 – part 2” on Relive!

Oh, and Spandalles? All I could think about was my favourite cycle touring footwear… The SPD sandal… or “spandal”!!

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