Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A hot lunch in Spain

We've been wanting to do it for a while and today was the day. Clear blue skies promised hot hot sun so where better to head than up to the cooler high mountains. Destination Spain. On the mountain bikes. Yes, we had a date with the Port d'Aula 2200m alt, starting at the Granges de Laserre which is, in itself, a very beautiful spotThe Port d'Aula is one of many gateways into Spain across the higher mountains and is accessible via a track, the first 3kms of which have been recently redone to allow better access for cars to the first waypoint at Col de Pause. Unfortunately the loose stoney surface makes progress tediously slow if you are on a bike, but once past Col de Pause the surface changes which makes for a fun ascent on tracks of various quality but always with breathtaking sceneryWe climbed easily thanks to the numerous switchbacks to above the Etang d'Areau from where the vista suddenly opened up with the Cuns d'Aula and Mont Valier within striking distanceWe pressed on and the Port d'Aula was soon within sightAfter 12.5kms and 2 hrs 8 mins of steady climbing (1140m in total), we were rewarded with a wonderful Spanish vista which made the perfect location for a quick butty before we turned around and started the fun, fast descent back down. I couldn't help but stop at every photographic opportunity to record the shere beauty of the landscape in front of me, from the Etang de Prat Matau nestled in an idyllic situation
to the larger Etang d'Areau further down the trackWay down there is the Col de Pause where the gravel track ended! ....
It was a fantastic track on which to just let loose and ride... Andy is far braver than myself on such descents although I have to say, with my new tyres and improved confidence on the mountain bike, I descended far quicker than I probably would have done in the past and arrived back at the car with a super enormous grin on my face, just 38 minutes after leaving the top!! What a cracking outing! Stats on the usual site.


Fiona said...

OH and I just went "wow" at the pics and wish we were there too! What a day :)


penny said...

It WAS just one of those days, Fi, where you pinch yourself and remind yourself just HOW lucky you are. Some of the scenery around here, well, you just have to experience it. It is just SO stunning .