Barcelona to the Pyrenees – Day 4

After three days of ‘white’ roads that didn’t behave like white roads at all (sorry, but you need to be a Michelin map aficionado to decipher the meaning of this), we were greeted immediately out of Figueres by a small, quiet (and properly white) road with more cyclists than cars.

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Here we are at our first pit stop, outside the village of Peralada.

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We weren’t too too far from the Camino de Santiago. This is the universal sign to follow if you want to make it to Santiago de Compostela, about 800 km away in western Spain.

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The excellent roads continued towards the Pyrenees.

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Till we reached Espolla and turned right into this ominous sign of things to come.

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Luckily it wasn’t all 10% grades. In fact I found it much easier than the up and down of day 2. The scenery was hard to beat as well, but I’ll let you be the judge.

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It wasn’t all wilderness either. We even passed a paddock full of those typical Pyrenean cows, easily identified by their awesome blond bangs.

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As we climbed the scenes became idyllic, if a little grey…

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And after the cows we were nearly at the top of the pass (col de Banyuls) – just one more long, steepish section to climb. Shoko took the lead on this one. If you squint you might be able to see her!

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And all too soon we were at the top, and the border between Catalunya and France. I think this stick is it. 

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And the French valley we had to get through to get to our train. Tip: check your brakes before going down this hill!

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When we got down this twisty road we rode through some quite nice (and quite vertical!) vineyards.

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And when we broke out of the valley we were in Banyuls sur Mer, and back on the train line to Montpellier. Last Tip: if you don’t have far to go and have bikes, take the TER. They all take bikes and the new ones have large spaces for bikes, gear…

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…and their owners!

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