France, Andorra, Spain - Summer '16
Summer 2016 was spent mostly... playing in the mountains
We did move a bit, but even then, it was just to another part of the mountains
This topic will likely be the last episode in a while because life seems to be settling down into a more easy way of life without much movement. Well, at least for a few months it will be that way. Travel pics will likely return next year.
Random walkies just up the hill from Gerde. Lovely shady track is good as it's pretty warm this evening.
Our butter dish (or what passes for one in the snail). Might have been a bit warm today
Spectacular day in the Pyrenees. Col d'Aspin, Arreau, Hourquette d'Ancizan, Sarrat de Gaye. Lazy 2000m of climbing
Tiny supermarket in Bagnères-de-Bigorre has nice select of local cheeses. Love taking random chunks from here. Yum!
This looks interesting. Maybe it's beer with a hint of bacon?
Drove up the Hourquette d'Ancizan. Opened the door to some new friends Misty but the change makes it interesting.
Drove up to Payolle for a stroll & ended up parking in the clouds. Still lovely, if a little chilly for summer!
Folks here are so generous. Another invite for roast dinner with Yorkshire puds & a nice drop of red. Yum! Thx!
Out in the woods next to 'home' with the dogs. One is too shy for photos, the other clearly an attention seeker!
Bit hungover so easy spin up the Tourmalet as a cure. Only 46s behind PR. Maybe drinks the eve. before not all bad
Walkies at Col des Palomières. View behind to the North as you can't see the mountains to the South from here. Doh!
Bit of a traffic jam out riding today. Well, traffic of the bovine kind Glorious day up the Hourquette & Aspin!
Unlucky with a couple of punctures today, but I suppose there are worse places to have to fix one. Won't complain
Just back from cycling & served up this pre-lunch snack from my favourite warung kecil. Great recovery dish. Nom!
Today's ride: Something short & sweet. Saving myself for tomorrow
Just out wonder in the hills. Lovely evening for it
Walking in tall grass didn't know a deer was hiding here. He jumped up & ran as I got too close (2m or so). Amazing!!
Ever been so hot & thirsty you'd lay in a muddy puddle & drink from it? What chasing deer for hours does to dogs!
Breakie by the pool - well, the first course at least Fresh eggs straight from the chicken coup. Yum!
Lots of fun at the TdF today, a highlight is meeting Didi The Devil just before the Aspin climb. What a character!
6s off a PR on the Aspin today. Think I could have taken those seconds with a sprint if it wasn't so busy up here!
Coming down the Aspin towards Payolle on TdF day. Few campervans parked there! Not us though - we're down the valley.
The infamous flamme rouge that would cause a little chaos later today. Luckily I made it under (& back) unscathed!
I often do quite well on the daily leaderboard. 8th up the Aspin today. Somehow I can't see this lasting though!
Another Indonesian gathering today. Loads of wonderful food. Thank you so much! Nom, nom, nom!
Not sure this cake has enough cream filling. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.... Nom, nom, nom!
After a large lunch on a warm day nice to go for a walk in a wonderful, shady, cool forest. Lovely and quiet. Magic!
Random summer evening view in the Pyrenees.
Same spot as last post, but this is the following morning. Another spectacular day in the mountains begins
Early(ish) morning walk at the Col des Palomieres. Looking down into those clouds, it's nice to be in the hills
Someone had a wonderful time playing in fields & the stream by the road today. Why dog folk can't have nice cars!
Woodland walk this evening. A little bit late in the year for flowers, but there's still some colour in here.
Awesome sunburst through the clouds out walking this evening.
OMG! Woke up this morning to discover we don't have any bread! Lucky this is France & 2 minutes later we're saved!
Another hideous day up the Tourmalet Long way round is so much better when actually eating & drinking enough!
Lunch date at Payolle. Special day or something The confit du canard & gateau basque awesome & very affordable!
I often ride this road but drove today. Traffic here can be tricky as you see. Imagine negotiating this on a bike!
Let's take a selfie! Oh... and another picture of the cows. Because you can never have enough pictures of cows!
Relaxing near Hourquette d'Ancizan. Joys of carrying everything everywhere: always have outdoor furniture to hand
Teenie, tiny little stroll near Hourquette d'Ancizan. Absolutely love it here. It's even good when not on a bike!
Watching sunset over a neighbouring cornfield. Air thick with pollen & insects. Lucky we don't suffer from hay fever!
When you don't feel like going high, a nice spin in the foothills is the go. Super quiet roads and views like this.
Relaxing in shade of an old apple tree. It's laden with fruit, lucky not to be doing an Isaac Newton impression!
Wondered into the nearby village on a sticky hot afternoon. Ice cream reward for some, cool glass of beer for others.
Pratiwi's favourite alcoholic beverage. All the better at this very offensive price! #MoreBeerMoneyForMe :P
As rock'n'roll as it gets in the French countryside: local singers at a campsite. At least there was free alcohol!
Another Tourmalet day. Up top then a little way down the West side for a 'different' - it's all relative - angle.
Think this is a Persian Silk Tree, they seem very popular in this area & are all in flower right now. Very colourful.
Bagneres-de-Bigorre fete. Few early snaps in the market hall with freshly sliced prosciutto, drinks & other goodies.
Evening snack: Beer, baguette, roquefort, rillettes de canard. Yum! While Pratiwi went for coffee & cake. Durh!
Today's ride: Cloudy spin up the valley, but as usual, view from the Col d'Aspin fails to disappoint!
Do you suppose it's by chance that a German beer bottle fits perfectly inside this nice German beer mug? I doubt it.
Spotted in a local village: nice guy carrying a bike for a mate, or a bike thief! Around here likely it's the former.
Outrageously good dinner tonight. Soooo good & so much too. Had to take a doggy bag which was our lunch the next day!
Quite walk down a shady country lane. It doesn't always have to have an amazing view. Love the peace & quiet.
Today's ride: local loop then up the Col d'Aspin. Because, why not? Mooooooo!
We're staying in Quillan today, but took a little walk out of town to get away from it all
Family dinner in Quillan. I'm not easily impressed by salad, but... that's not bad! Prefer my choice mind!
Entertainment in a little square in Quillan. This sort of thing is completely normal throughout summer in France.
Deserted village alley in Quillan at dusk.
Almond liqueur found in my sister's house. Yum! Fun fact: while it tastes of almonds there's actually none in there!
Today's ride: Col de Pailheres... with a few others to a warm up Beautiful & it's another one for horse lovers!
Today's ride: Plateau de Beille. It's OK, but not that pretty. Valley road super busy too. Think I've been spoilt?
Rest day stroll into Ax-les-Thermes & back. Lovely shady path along the river
Today's ride: 38km climb to highest paved road in Pyrenees. Plus Col de Puymorens. Plus Ax 3 Domaines. Fantastic!
Andorran pizza. It might be the middle of summer, but in the shade it's still a bit chilly up here so went down well!
Other side of Col de Puymorens & jaunt into Spain. Also passed a solar thermal power plant with huge mirrors. Cool!
Stroll round La Seu d'Urgell, a little Spanish town just South of Andorra. Working up an appetite for Sunday lunch.
Spanish Sunday lunch. Pratiwi had a big octopus leg that just melted in the mouth. Unbelievable how good that was!
Random scene from today's drive. Somewhere on the N-260 in Spain. OK - that's a long road. Near Guils del Cantó
Arrive at hot Spanish camp. Lay on picnic blanket in shade. Red walls of the gorge remind me a bit of Aussie outback!
Passing by Esterri d'Àneu so short walk around. Nice, relaxed place. Late morning & streets full of coffee lovers.
The C-28 in Spain, climbing to Port de la Bonaigua. Sadly am driving it today instead of riding. Very poor planning!
Hike to Estany de Gerber, past another two smaller lakes. This pretty high up in the Spanish Pyrenees, around 2150m.
Entering Val d'Aran from Port de la Bonaigua. One of the best parts of the Spanish Pyrenees we've seen. So beautiful.
When in Spain... Loving this tapas bar in Urtau Arties (Valle de Aran). It's an amazing place! Nom, nom, nom!
Didn't know what this dish was, but took it anyhow. Turns out to be deep fried cheese with jam on top. Soooo good!
We came to this place for the tapas, but could be worth another visit to try the steak. One of the smaller ones!
Time for desert. Guess I'd better finish this Sangria first!
Today's ride: Port de la Bonaigua. Side trip to Pla de Beret had fantastic views of the Val d'Aran. Lovely place
Today's ride: both sides of the Col du Portillion plus Superbagnères. Spectacular... & the descent is ballistic!
Spotted in a local store: Bigourdan Pin Cake is made of many layers spooned over it as it slowly cooks. Yummy!
Early dinner/late lunch. Kale & rice &... not quite sure what my chef has presented here but it was really good!
Listed among best Pyrenees rides, Cap-de-Long is indeed up there. Literally! This lake is higher than the Tourmalet!
Lac d'Aumar & Lac d'Aubert. Sometimes I'm asked why cycle so much? The answer: to be able to get to places like this!
Route des Lacs descent one of most technical I've done. To finish hit up Piau Engaly because, why not?! #EpicDay
After an epic day on the bike, beer o'clock. And what a bottle: Alpirsbacher Kloster Starkbier. Cheers!
Beautiful day for a recovery ride in the vallée d'Aure. Full on 'recovery' too, my heart rate average was 88bpm
Post-recovery, recovery Cheers from Saint-Lary-Soulan!
Pratiwi hasn't been up this road before but quite likes the view. Maybe she should ride a bike more? #FamousClimb
Another wonderful summer's day up near the Hourquette d'Ancizan. Always nice to stop & say hello to the locals.
Wondering around in the woods near Payolle. Still pretty warm in the sun so it's nice to be in this shade.
Walls of snow in Spring, walls of corn in Summer. Just love the variety of the Northern seasons. Although - ask me again mid-winter!
Little trip to market today. We didn't pick up much, but how good does this slab of pork look? Nom, nom, nom
While it might be a little cloudy down the valley, another glorious day up the Col d'Aspin. Simply love it up here!
Pot of 'industrial' desert with a few added Brambles picked straight from our hedge. Nom, nom! #SimplePleasures
Breakfast time! Rest day otherwise there'd be eggs in there too. Love fresh bread & croissant in the morning. Yum!
Spotted this deer on a dusk walk. He stood looking at us before slowly walking into the corn. Magical. #DodgyPhonePic
Evening walk between the cornfields. Val d'Adour, French Pyrenees.
Top of Hautacam: Blue skies & views for miles! Well, it's the Col de Tramassel actually, but you knew that, right?
After yesterday some recovery needed so gentle spin to the Hourquette. If you call 1000m+ climb up here recovery
Glass of rosé with lunch. In a beer glass. Because that's just how classy I am Cheers!
Spotted in local motorhome dealer: 'Crossover' model of our snail. Think it takes bit more than fat tyres though!
Quick lunch stop. Tried Parisienne Bruschetta to discover it's cheese on toast with ham! Very nice though. Nom!
A full fridge. And yes, light inside is blue so our whole place looks funky if no others on when you open the door
Bit of exploration & finding the limit of what's marked as a road. Still got those MTB skills, even on 25mm tyres!
Visiting the market hall in Tarbes. So... here's the obligatory 'piles of bread & cheese' pictures!
Eating figs straight off the tree. Yum! And... erm... nom, nom, nom, nom!
Another difficult day in Southern France Hanging with friends while they force food & drink on us. Thanks guys!
First snow of the season fell on the Pic du Midi couple days back & more yesterday by the looks. #ViewFromOurDoorstep
It might not officially be Autumn for a few days yet, but it's certainly coming. Beautiful colours this morning.
Gathering for a birthday celebration in Toulouse. Lots of Indonesian food & french gateaux. Oh yes! Nom, nom, nom!