22nd June 2024
Day 15, Argelès-Gazost to Mauléon-Licharre

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Garmin route for today - - Strava route for today

Miles today: 71.02
Total millage so far: 823.93
Today's top speed: 36.00mph
Punctures: 00

Blog for the day:

Ah the mountains are at last behind me. What a long day that was, defo' bit off more than I could chew. Silly boy.

So the climb was closed but it turned out bikes could get through at a squeeze. The climb itself gave great views of the snowy mountains and some sweet villages. The horses around here are look great, with long flowing manes. Some donkeys came along next which was sweet. All take my mind off the climb. The weather still looked ok even though the forecast suggested possible showers. Got to the top of the Col du Soulor and the weather was all clear.

So, lots more sheep and cows with bells on, a sketchy descent with lots of loose gravel which has been dumped on the road repairs. Some fun tunnels and the climb up to the Col d'Aubisque. Still felt ok but the weather started closing in again. Got to the top and headed straight to the cafe to warm up with tea and a crepe. Got in line to take some pics of the sign and some Italians thought they were going to muscle in before me, I didn't cycle all this way for that 🤣

The descent was great fun, fast and good roads. Some fresh but were ok. Sure my Speedo is fubar as Phil my driver said I was doing over 45mph yesterday but the Garmin said 35mph. Anyway, lots of people coming up, always a nice feeling. Got down to the ghost town at the bottom, looked like it used to be nice, but just dead now. Then right at the bottom there was a large cycle "race" sportive type thing happening with hundreds of riders. Will have to find out what it was.

Next I found myself on the Col de Marie-Blanque, this was when I realised I had taken on more than was possible. 80mile day and I still had 50miles to go. Another long climb with the red kites circling above. Weather closed in and it got cold & wet very quick, like me. Got to the top, took pics but as the clouds and wind made viability zero, I had to take the car down again. I guess once you cheat, you are susceptible to do it again. Near the bottom where the weather was slightly clearer and dryer, I got back on the bike and carried on.

Went through a couple of nice enough towns, nothing open. Whizzed through one and saw a few road closed signs and deviations, but thought nothing of it. Zoomed around the corner and down the hill and it took me a while it recognise the fence closing the road off, nearly smacked into it. Locals were like wtf. I just laughed and took the detour.

Few more easy climbs and lumps, got stuck behind a farmers truck full of cow dung, reminded me of Back to the Future. The signs started to have dual language, so defo' in Basque Country. Rain started again with 10miles to go and so limped into town. Hard long day, didn't have much time before dinner. Had a few mouthfuls and felt sick. Home and in bed and hungry now!

Hard day, too hard. Pretty with good descents. Out of the mountains and one last jump to the coast, and of course, rain forecast for late June in France!

Notes, highest elevation gain again! Still houses where the animals live below downstairs while the farmers live just above them! Very much like NZ in the valley approaching the first climb

Quebrantahuesos – Cycling race - LINK - ROUTE

Download MP4

Video of cows on mountain Video of sheep!