Did I mention we biked 38km in the Pyrenees? I think it is a miracle I managed AND I am still able to walk regarding the fact I am not the fittest or have the best bike for the mountains. But I did it and more important: I liked it!
From our home in Castillon-en-Couserans we left for a bike ride towards Portet-d'Aspet. The weather was perfect, really spring time! We planned the route with our new found awesome application: Komoot. Seriously a great app to plan routes for hiking and biking. In Komoot you can add your fitness level and put some points where you want to go and you see how long it will take you, how much elevation etc. If you want to try it send me a message! I can give you one region for free.
We chose the route from Castillon-en-Couserans to Porter-d'Aspet because it didn't had too much elevation and no huge inclinations. Dimitris is able to bike everything on his heavy mountain bike but I am not.... We left and crossed the beautiful villages Audressein, Argein, Aucazein, Illartein and Orgibet. In Orgibet there was a bar next to the road and I was eager to drink some coffee. But of course we wanted to see if there was something 'better'. Halfway the village a sign send us to the right, up the mountain. There would be a bar/restaurant. Oke: let's try I said. You always think it will be 'just around the corner' and in fact you already know that is will not be like that. Still we went. The climb wasn't too steep but it was long. Half way I got tired and let the dog run up the road herself. It was a very quiet road with almost no cars so she could go herself. That made climbing a lot easier without having 7,5 kilo's on the back of your bike! We saw the little village Galey not too far from us and biked on. With a full red head (me...) we reached the village and found a square with a small bar. Coffee and water please!
Because we had left our route, we looked at the map to see how to proceed. We could go down to the mainroad again and continu to Portet-d'Aspet, which would mean going down very steep and afterwards go up again to reach our endpoint before turning around. Or we could follow the 'upper road' with not a lot of elevation to end up going down to Portet-d'Aspet. This would mean no more climbing for the rest of our trip! Only one thing: a part of the road wouldn't be road but more of a dirt road or hiking trail. Well let's go and see! This route was amazingly beautiful. We biked above the main road and crossed stone houses with awesome views. At one point we crossed a house with a big garden with a horse in it, a treehouse for the kids and a woman squatting down while working in the vegetable garden and carrying here baby on here back. The baby was crying and she was rocking him while she was busy planting salad. This image was on one hand beautiful and idillic and on the other hand it showed how tough this life is, squatting down with a crying baby while digging in the earth. Too bad we were so amazed by this image we forgot to take a picture of it.
We went on the road and as the map showed us before, it stopped at one point. A hiking trail continued so we started walking with our bikes. Halfway we could make a lunch stop in the middle of nature next to a very 'remote' house. I guess this part of the route was about 1 kilometre before we ended up in Portet-d'Aspet. Again we found a nice bar for a coffee before hitting the road back home. Biking back to Castillon-en-Couserans was easy: almost all down hill. Only in our village we have to climb up to our house. This is every time a big challenge, but: we made it!