France, Spain - Winter '15/'16

This winter was meant to be spent mostly in the South of Spain & Portugal, but... as I said earlier (see Autumn '15) there were plans afoot in France that required our attention.

Cue spending pretty much all of winter in the Pyrenees. In the snail. Brrrrr?

Well, actually this turned out to be a very mild winter by all accounts. There was a sprinkling of snow on the peaks but the snail only saw a snow briefly for a single day. This meant that there was not to be any skiing on the cards, but, no drama - have bike, will ride smile

It was only as the calendar rolled along into March that first signs of some proper snow and ice appeared, and as luck would have it this was when we finally concluded our chores. So, job done (for now) we finally got that break to the South.

Not really as planned, but as can be seen, not really a hardship either.


Crisp morning here! Walking into the village for a look around.


Always nice to look around local markets. Here's the weekly Argelès-Gazost one. Plenty colourful even in winter! smile


Looking to the val d'Azun (just beyond that village) on what's getting to be a bit of a regular walk above Préchac.


Today someone told me South of France was much like Aus in Winter. Weather maybe, but this view from today's ride? wink


Pic du Montaigu & other randomness. Just the sort of every day stuff you see wondering around here wink Ahhhhh... smile


Need some new bike gear. Winter gloves? Check. Booties? Check. Edge 520? Check. Served by ex-pro TDF rider? Check. Love the LBS here! grin


Visiting the gite we first stayed in back in 2012. View here is always fantastic. Esp. on another sunny winter's day!


Live segments test at Hautacam. Verdict: Absolute torture! Spectacular day: wearing shorts & just 2 layers up top! grin


Afternoon walk in tee shirt weather. Glorious! Spoke to a local who'd been skiing already. Great place to live! grin wink


Don't normally care much for winter festivities... but... something feels different this year! wink tongue


Chilly 5-10°C riding today. Thankful for new gloves & booties keeping me warm grin Quick pic of the lovely val d'Azun.


In stark contrast to my last post... Almost the middle of winter you say? Right by the mountains you say? Lovely! smile


Planned a little walk up to the Pibeste this morning. Sadly cut short, but what we did manage was really very nice!


No, these aren't, 'posted 3 months late' pictures. Col du Soulor. On the bike. Today. 17 Dec! #NotColdAtAll! grin


View of Castelloubon valley while on a friend's mystery tour wink From the road to Col de la Bonnaliere. What a gem!


Today's ride in glorious sunshine: Col du Tourmalet. Well... as much as was possible. Didn't bring my skis! wink


Does this really need a caption? wink Just messing about while enjoying a few pre-dinner snacks smile tongue


Merry Xmas from the French Pyrenees! Still cycling weather here! Nice ride means guilt free gluttony is coming! tongue wink


Oh dear... it's that time of evening already. Thank god for red wine! Although... maybe that's what got us here! wink


Lovely sunny bike path cruise with Pratiwi. Then I nipped up Hautacam. You know, just because it's right there! grin wink


Winter? Looks like we're going straight to Spring here! Unless someone identify this plant as a winter bloomer? #Warm


For those sick of the supposedly 'never ending stream' of our 'glamorous' travels... well... this one's for you! wink


New year's day post ride refreshments: Alpirsbacher Klosterbräu 'v' Franziskaner #ToughCall Happy new year indeed! grin


Clouds cleared today to reveal what they've been working on: snowy peaks. Chilly ride, but beautiful all the same smile


Not-so-random - ask me why wink - walk in the Pyrenean foothills. Doesn't feel much like winter here!


A little further up the hill... feels like a scene out of The Sound of Music! wink So beautiful here grin


Views of today's ride. Unseasonably warm so popped up the Col du Soulor - as you do wink Nice snowy view at the top! smile


More signs of spring. Pretty lucky to see this any time of year to be honest, let alone while out walking in January!


It's 2am Aussie time so: Happy Australia Day! wink Lovely winter sunshine in France all the better with German beer! grin


Today's ride: for a change here's the 'ugly' view looking North wink That's Saint-Savin on the left saving the shot! grin


Snail life. Cheers! grin


Might have rained a bit last night... wink Still, sun was out this morning while we were out walking & then I got the bike out. Bonus! smile


Out walking this beautiful morning & spotted a tree in full bloom. Surely not long before they all look like this! smile


Post ride snack. Pratiwi asked, "Are you going to eat all that?!" Erm... what do you think?! tongue #NaughtyPuppyLook wink


Chores done & a bit chilly out, how to relax? Bread & wine seems like a good start! Cost: the princely sum of 4€! grin


So... it stopped snowing... smile Flowers & the view from today's walk in the countryside.


Morning snooze bathing in the sun then little walk to next village & back. This is Beaucens, which we pass regularly.


Today's ride: just random cruising through lots of beautiful little villages. This one is Orincles. It's nice here smile


A few pictures while wondering the Pyrenees foothills today. Lovely here, isn't it? grin


Today will be mostly spent... Driving to find some early summer. To the sun..! grin


Picnic rest stop on our drive today. Just a few items we happened to have in the 'car' wink


Made it to the Med! We don't really do beach (too flat) But plus side: it's a bit warmer here! Swings/roundabouts wink


Cycling in Serra de Llaberia. After most of winter in the Pyrenees, 3% gradient in warm sunshine felt like a joke! wink


Post ride refreshments... as the shadows lengthen. Another great day. Hmmmmmm... smile tongue


The Spanish like a little ham it seems. Sadly we have to pass due to lack of slicing paraphernalia in the snail! cry


Moved little further South today. Now lovely & warm. Crickets are chirping outside. Bonus: parked by the beach at bottom of a 25km climb! grin


Last ride of Winter today, a bit chilly: hardly drank a thing. Then again was only just over an hour #ThingsToDo wink