Up before the alarm. Not bad for a Monday morning.
Checked the bike. Looks like it rained last night. May rain again today.
By the time I was packed, the sun was out. 20degC. Nice start to crossing the Pyrenees. De-layered before I rode off.
Headed up some hills out of town. Was talking the scenic route. So were the mobile homes 🙁
Nice of the road planners to put in passsing lanes, here and there 🙂
Made an early stop for cheese in Aramits. One chevre (hard-ish), one blue. Both nice. Munched on each as a breakfast.
Was tempted to put on my jacket liner and waterproofs. There are clouds in them there hills. But thought I should hold off.
When the rain came I had to pull over and dress. Rain stopped, and there I was in an elfen wood, babbling brook, with autumn arriving, munching on more chevre. Outstanding. Could not do better scenery in a Tolkein movie 🙂
Headed on up. Same woods. Curvy roads. Then a sign saying 13% grade.
The glorious valley views were disappearing. The mist was claiming all. And the land was changing from Tolkein to Potter (white Yorkshire stone).
By the time visibility was down to 50m, my ears had popped twice, and we were still climbing. The twisities were mainly 360’s. The temperature down to 4degC.
This carried on for a bit. The wind picking up as I seemed to crest. Thoughts of the TV programme showing similar weather on the Camino came to mind. Luckily I’d been through this before, and the trick is to keep moving. But carefully.
As the TV programme commented, those who were not careful, died.
Then the sun came out, and the wind calmed down, but only for a few hundred metes. The mist and wind were back with a vengance.
Up a bit more, and a sign proclaiming, turn right for Spain. Now it was a matter of 360deg bends going downhill, in the mist.
The lower down the mountain I rode, the less misty, and warmer it became.
And then a view! And what a view.
Some chap in a Porsche on the other side had pulled into the gravel lay-by and was admiring the view. A long, long valley, with a winding river, all coloured in golds and reds, with splashes of green. All highlighted by the sun. Gorgeous.
Less than an hour later, I had ridden through it all. Gorgeous all the way.
As I pulled into Burgi, saw an outlet store for local foods. Rode in. Bought a sausage and a can of fizzy lemon. Sat outside in the sun, at the table provided, where I ate half the sausage, the rest of the chevre, and drank the fizzy.
Suitably refreshed, in body and soul, I rode towards the town.
Pot-holed gravel roads. But not as bad as Ukraiina. “Train hard. Fight easy”. hahahaha
Then the downhill sections started. Did I mention that this was ski country? Still in the hills. So quite a few steep downhill pitches, ending in turns.
Now I know why the wait at the traffic light was so long. A long way to go. Just not sure how anybody gets into town!
Once on the main road to Pamplona, all was easy, except for the wind. Blustery. Very blustery.
But smooth and open road, all the way.
Spain has very little traffic, compared to the other countries.
And lots of space.
Filled up just inside Pamplona.
And parked at the petrol station whilst I found a hotel.
Was nearly 4pm. The days get colder and darker all the sooner. Time to call it quits.
Underground parking for the bike:)
Cafe con letche.
Sorted out my next two days.
Went for a stroll.
Wandered along the river, watching the walls and the city rise, on the other bank. All lit up.
Over to the French gate. So called because the French pilgrims arrive the way.
Then the nearby viewing-point. Corner of the city defences. And this place had serious defences. Multiple walls, all the way down to the river.
For the next bit, let me assure you that no bulls were harmed in the making of this blog.
Survived walking the ‘Running of the bulls‘ route.
Now I have been described as mad, but yea gods! Concrete walls. Narrow streets. Uphill and slippery ground. All the time, six 2,000lbs bulls are chasing you. Who said “Suicide is painless“? I think not!!!
Think I’d be pushing Hammond into the bulls too. hahaha
All this started as a by-product of herding the bulls into the bull-ring. A large impressive building at the top of the hill.
A stroll around the downtown area, where I lucked out with this supper…..
Light and fluffy, egg and potato tortilla.
Glass of nice red.
Topped off with a bottle of mineral water.
Gotta love Spain.
Took this selfie outside one of the city gates…..
The angle is just bad skills, not lots of red wine 🙂
Back at the hotel to finish the blue, with some bread and tea.
Like I said.
Gotta Love Spain.