There’s not denying it after last week: I’m a lucky guy. After a grueling Act One in the Alps Shoko and I made our way towards Act Two in the Pyrenees, en-route stopping off at one of the ‘cycling-friendly’ accommodations that I have on my website, Can Rigall. The week between my two big objectives of the season was meant to one of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). I accomplished the ‘R’ by pretty much doing nothing the whole week; the beer I drank was definitely ‘I’ce cold; I have to admit I never did buy those funny compression socks, so no ‘C’; and I got the ‘E’ by visiting Can Rigall, which sits 800 meters up in a wonderfully isolated area of the Pyrénées-Oriéntales.
Can Rigall labels itself as an ‘eco-luxury hotel’, where all the energy is generated on site (solar, bio-diesel and wind), much of what you eat is grown there as well, like this stuff that our hostess, Helle was picking for dinner…
They have a pool with a view that has been carved out of the Pyrenean rock beneath.
And probably the friendliest cat I’ve ever come across.
Proof that I adhered to the ‘R’ rule.
But this is a cycling blog, I realize, and we did get out for a ride to the sea. Here is Shoko, sporting the helmet/baseball cap double look to make sure her face was well protected from the strong sun of Le Sud.
The trip was short and not really that satisfying, to be honest. The coast of Languedoc (the coast with roads along it anyway) is not the best place to ride a bike in peak season, since you are competing with the campervan tsunami that starts in Holland, picks up speed in Belgium, and makes landfall right here. Here’s a small and unattractive beach, with a much nicer background – in Collioure.
Can Rigall is a special place for special holidays, I would think, and not somewhere you want to just stop for the night. It is peaceful and lovely and the perfect place to re-energize between giant, hellish mountain races like the Etape du Tour. Thanks Helle, Pia, Marie and the rest of you, for a wonderful stay!
Can Rigall, 66150 Arles-sur-Tech. +33 6 29 96 28 16. firstname.lastname@example.org