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Old 11-30-2014, 07:38 AM   #1
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

After improving my bad english in a roadtrip report about a trip through VERCORS and PROVENCE areas last year in 2013, I decided that once a year was not that bad.
Link to FRANCE 2013 :
This year, I décided to cross from Méditerranean sea to Atlantic ocean, following Pyrenean passes, from an area I have already visited in 2010 to another I also know since a trip made in 2012. But nothing between QUILLAN and Saint JEAN Pied de PORT.

I didn't leave very early on day one because not too many kilometers to do. At 09.00 a.m, I was on the road to the south east to bring the Motorway A 10 to BORDEAUX. Many clouds over ROYAN and to the west and more blue sky on the east, where I was going (Lucky guy!). Many cars on BORDEAUX 's circular road, then south east to TOULOUSE. As I always leave home with a full tank, I always stop in the same gas station when going southeast, as I did in 2010 and 2011, when I take that motorway ( On french toll motorway, gas station are mostly each 20 or 25 kilometers)

After a little drink and food, I continue on the motorway to the exit 22 to LIMOUX and QUILLAN. I had planned to stop in a campground many kilometers before QUILLAN but, as I was there too early, I décided to continue to QUILLAN to visit a nice part of the route and come back after. When going through the campground road sign, I noticed he was covered by a red cross. So I came back, to see that "Little paradise" (It's was his name !) was closed. (Don't even know that paradise could be closed !!! Had to remember that at the end of my life, to not go to the little one !!!Or to be sure it's open before dying !!! If choice, I have !)) So I continue to QUILLAN where I found the city campground. At 03.30 p.m, tent was up.

So I décided to do little more kilometers south on Route D117 and D118, following AUDE river to Canyon de PIERRE LYS and Canyon de Saint GEORGES...and back.

568 Km and 17 Euros of toll for the day.

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Old 12-03-2014, 02:12 AM   #2
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

First, there are places to visit in the area where I won't go because I have already been there in 2010 CARCASSONNE Old town has to be seen and visited.

such as several Cathare Castles as Château de MONTSEGUR

Château de QUERIBUS


And maybe RENNES le CHÄTEAU, with its strange history ( Something to see with DA VINCI Code !)

So I begun by a ride through Canyon de PIERRE Lys and east by D 117 to the suburbs of PERPIGNAN to take south on D990 to SPAIN. The three last kilometers to the border were very slow, riding between cars. Because Le PERTHUS, which is on the border, is known for its low price shops very attractive for french : cigarettes, alcohol and many others things with lower VAT. Very slow speed, but no time for photo. I continue south on the N II, next to the motorway. In FIGUERES, I took east to the Mediterranean sea, on N 260, make a little stop in GARRIGUELLA ( Spain).

Few kilometers later, I stopped near QUERMANCO Castle.

And join the Mediterranean sea near LLANCA.

I then follow the coast to the north to COLERA,


To the border. El castillo de ESPANA y FRANCIA

Mémorial de la RETIRADA


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Old 12-03-2014, 03:03 AM   #3
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Gorgeous ride and pics, thanks foe sharing.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:37 AM   #4
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

I remember you were the first to give an opinion in my preview and first report, with an info about how to make pics appears directly.

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Old 12-03-2014, 05:01 AM   #5
Dessert Storm
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Excellent report and photos. More, please!
'You like motorcycles, beer, and ladies. I'm afraid I have the same illness' - Thierry.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:03 AM   #6
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

DAY 2 (Part 2) :

And back to FRANCE

For those of you who think you may loose hours on the Spanish/French border, I have spend several minutes,... making pics of the French custom office.

I like these pics because it look like small scale of train station. (!)


French Custom office is down there, in the distance. The road passes behind, then turn and come back down the building.

The coast to the South (Mostly spanish)

...and to the north.

I continue to follow the coast BANUYLS sur MER,



I continue a little to the north to ARGELES - PLAGE but not very interesting to picture. Then I take a road west to join D 941, coming back to PERPIGNAN and the route to QUILLAN, D 117.
365 km for the day.
Thanks for watching (...and reading.)

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Old 12-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Wonderful pics, thanks for sharing! Spent my honeymoon in that area 10 years ago and saw many of the same sites. That Costa Brava area of Spain is absolutely breathtaking.
Don't eat yellow snow.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:38 PM   #8
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

DAY 3 ( Part 1)

Still going south to Gorges de PIERRE LYS,

AXAT and Gorges de St GEORGES (Pics from 2010),

I decide to change my plan and took route D 17 to Col de JAU. On the beginning, the road seems to be not well paved,

...but I like that and continue Sainte COLOMBE sur GUETTE

...and up to Col de JAU.

Here a short video of the very first kilometers of the road and through Sainte COLOMBE sur GUETTE. (The video was made one day later, with less sun !)

I get down through curves MOSSET,

stop near a chapel

...and arrive in MOLITG les BAINS

...pass a river named CASTELLANE ( Last year in PROVENCE, I was in a city named CASTELLANE)

...then CATTLAR where I discover a house with a nice facade.

After PRADES, I continue south to TAURYNYA get to route des CORTALETS, stop near a old bridge

...and arrive on a parking, beginning of the route des Cortalets. I had found nice pics telling that this road was nice to ride, and my map consider it as "dangerous and rough road", so two good reasons to ride there. (Not my pics but interesting one !)

There, it seems to be mostly for bicycles and pedestrians. And quite almost unpaved and the bandit don't really like off road stuff...(And I need the Bandit !)
On the way back, I stop for Abbaye Saint MICHEL de CUXA

...before taking a road east to MILAS via EUS, the north to climb FORCA REAL

...with its two peak, one with a chapel and a smashing view

...and the other with a survey point for fire and antennas. (...And smashing views too !)

Back to the parking

Thanks for reading

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Old 12-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
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thanks for posting.....brilliant

whereabouts in France are you from.....
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:13 PM   #10
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All I've seen of France is Paris (like so many tourists). That's a shame because it's such a beautiful place.

What amazing pictures.

Your English is better than my French! All I could do was order dinner and buy tickets to the Louvre.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:17 AM   #11
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

DAY 3 ( Part 2)

I was on road D 38 to the west since two minutes when, after several kilometers, just before CALADROI, I saw a strange dead tree, turn back to discover what was strange to me : it was woodcarving (sculptures).

Then I arrive in CARAMANY with a lake made by a dam on AGLY river.

I stop a few kilometres after ANSIGNAN and walk down to an aqueduc. Nobody but me, no noise but the water going through rocks and falling, that was refreshing. (Nothing against you, trusty motorcycle !)

...with a tunnel inside.


I was so alone that, when I heard the noise of a vehicle that stop, up on the parking, I though " It's a long way to the next village,...on foot !"
Back on the bike through Clue de la FOU. St PAUL de FENOUILLET (Clue de la FOU is on the right)

and Gorges de GALAMUS which is a MUST.

So much a must (!) that there is a trafic light in summer's afternoon. Because that would be a very bad idea, even a nightmare, to come here with your brain new Premuim R.V. Well, in fact a few kilometers before arriving there is a parking for R.V and a free bus to get to the gorges. But it's O.K for bike. Those pics come from my 2010's trip.
You can see the road near the wall on the right and on the high left before the beginning of the gorges.

... and Ermitage Saint ANTOINE de GALAMUS just in the middle

Then began the gorges. as there is trafic lights, it's not a problem for pedestrians to walk there.

(and a link to a video I have made this summer.)

Back to Saint PAUL de FENOUILLET, I continue west to go one more times through Défilé de PIERRE – LYS, to get back to campground in QUILLAN.

217 km for the day.
As I had one night left in this campground, I get to reception desk to pay : 37 Euros for 3 nights.

Thanks for watching and reading.

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Old 12-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #12
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Great report, comme d'habitude!!! Merci! Merci!
Revel in your time!
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:01 AM   #13
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014

Well, it seems to me that the Gorges de GALAMUS are not only a must for me, so let me bring you to the gorges one more time with a video made a few minutes after the one up there, while coming back. ENJOY


FRANCE2013 :
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #14
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Xlnt report and pics, thank you.
"Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization"
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:10 PM   #15
KryzHatch OP
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Stinking cheeses country or FRANCE
Oddometer: 98
Pyrenean ride 2014


Wake up at 07.00 for packing the tent to go west. After a café, I get south to be quickly stopped
for rocks that may fall on the road. I wait 20 minutes for workers to secure the road, and continue my way south to make a video of the very first kilometers to Col de JAU ( You may have seen it in the day three.)
Then I turn back on D 118 to AXAT and D 117 and took the D 107 through the REBENTY valley with Défilé de JOUCOU and Défilé de l'ABRE.

Lots of clouds and small rain on a nice narrow road.

REBENTY Valley :

In a village named NIORT de SAULT (End of the video), I decided to turn right to climb to escape to the fog and take tha main route. After several kilometers, I was going so slow on wet little roads under trees that I though I wasn't on the right route, thinking the crossroad was closer, eleven kilometers. But all was right and I found the route I was waiting for, route D 613. And I get to AX les THERMES via Col de CHIOULA by nice last kilometers with turns.
I took Nationale 20, where there was lot of cars going or coming back from ANDORRA, well known for its low priced alcohol, cigarettes and many others items. But I was going the other way, to TARASCON sur ARIEGE. I turn on the left on D 8 to VICDESSOS and then to PORT de LERS

...COURTAL de BASTARD (wild camping near the road)

...Small village in the distance

...Bridge in LE PORT ( Sometimes, making a good picture is not easy. Here, there was a huge green dustbin. Behind the tree, near the bike, not that cute on picture !)

...and MASSAT, where I took gaz to continue west to Saint GIRONS. Many kilometers later, I stopped in a crossroad and discover I had two choice : The normal route to St GIRONS or another through Gorges de RIBAOUTOU, named "Route des tunnels". I choose the second one. And let's go..

Very nice road, happy for the choice I have made, and to have put the camera on, when, after twenty seconds, my brain informed me that it would have been nice for the camera.... ANGRY after the driver,... Euh,...ME !!. So, is that road nice enough to go back or should I continue ? If I continue, won't I have regrets ? And if I go back, won't I be late ?
So, as B. SPEARS has said " I did it again !"
I took normal route back to the crossroad because route des tunnels was one way. And put the camera on. Let's go ( again !)
Back home, I make a little Internet search and discover that this road was first made for train, in the beginning of past century. Which explains the tunnels size (not only speaking of length !)

VIDEO Route des tunnels : (Note to myself : Gloves are a lot more efficient when on hands !!! Not only a question of temperature !)

At St GIRONS, I found the sun, turn left on D 618 to Col du PORTET D'ASPET (1069m), with numerous cyclists. Respect to all I have seen that day and the days after. ( And I have seen many !)

While going down, I stopped near Fabio CASARTELLI Memorial. To make it short, during the 1995 Tour de FRANCE, he dies a few hundred meters later on a turn, while going down the Col.

Flowers on the low parapet he has hurt. ( Note I was not lying when saying I saw many cyclists.)

During the five minutes I was there, I have not seen a cyclist that didn't stopped, even those going up the pass have stopped their effort for a moment. I spoke to a cyclist who stop every times he climbs the pass.
Several minutes later, I turn on route D 85 to Col de MENTE (1349m).

...which was a nice surprise to me : nice road, nice curves and turns, nice villages and not a lot of cars. Higher than PORTET D'ASPET but not as much difficult to me...not speaking of the Bandit point of view but more on a cyclist one !

Note that the road seems to climb like a snake.

Then down to St BEAT, with nice curves and nice views.

I continue and turn left to the South, to BAGNERES de LUCHON where I stopped in a campground, just under a huge tree, a sequoia, maybe. (8,25 € for the night)

I spoke with a guy from the Netherland who had a BMW GS 1200 Adventure.
286 kilometers. Nice weather on the second half.
I have had a problem during that day, a small one. While arriving a hundred meters before PORTET D'ASPET pass, I put the GOPRO on... and stop ten meters later. Alarm told me battery was out of order, ...and as I could not find the second one I bought... The small problem, I can continue the trip, has become a small desillusion during the day and a huge one in the next days. I still haven't found it. I'm sure there was a conspiracy from SPIELBERG, TARANTINO and many others (But no proof !)

Thanks for watching and reading

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