Brighton 2 Barcelona

Day 19 The Pyrenees

St Jean Port du Pied to Larrau

23 miles at 7 mph average

It was not long after leaving the St Jean Port du Peid before we hit the first climb that was lasted most of the day, it was the Col d' Iraty. The col is over 10 miles long and peaks at 1327m, the average gradient is 6% and maximum of 12%. Going up was very hard and sometimes we were only going 3 or 4 mph, but the view became even more impressive the higher we got. Around half way up was a local cheese shop, the perfect place to stop and rest whilst trying great cheeses. Back to the moutain, our bikes now heavier with a big wedge of sheeps cheese, we were cheered on by cars and passing cyclists on their light racing bikes. We reach a height of over 1100m and then the road drops down, we are going down hill! What a relief, however this was not the top, we turn a bend and the road ramps up again, but this time to a greater height. Another big effort, more encourage from other tourists and cyclists we get to the top. The veiw was amazing and well worth the effort. We can see the peaks of the mighty Pyrenees, some stand at over 3000m and are still snow capped. We sit and take in the veiw whilst vultures circle above. Now for the descent! Twists, turns and sheer cliff drops were not the only thing to watch out for, goats, cows and horses roam the mountains and walk freely across the road! Almost 2 hours going up and 20 minutes going down. At the bottom we follow a river which takes us to the small and beautiful village of Larrau, time for some local Basque food before bed.

Photo 1 the road to the top

Photo 2 The veiw at the top

Photo 3 Mountain sheep

Photo 4 At the top!

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