After our great, ride that Patti last posted of, we descended into the town of Ax-les-Thermes http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ax-les-Thermes which is known for it’s hot springs, it’s a total tourist town . This was quite the contrast to what we’d just experienced. We loaded up on food and water and got out ASAP.
The next morning we had a 5,000′ plus climb on a crowded and narrow road. The climb was great but the traffic was annoying. We wondered where all these people were headed.
We had just entered the tiny country of Andorra http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andorra and didn’t know what to expect. I hoped for tiny villages with sheep herders but it is just the opposite. The country is built around tourism, skiing and shopping. We both felt it was pretty gross. Apparently, from what we learned, Andorra charges less taxes than it’s neighboring countries and is capitalizing on selling stuff to foreigners. It’s huge, imagine a motorcycle shop that takes up a city block, car dealerships all over, jewelry, art, etc, etc. No bicycle infrastructure whatsoever.
So, we were quite happy to see this sign…
We rolled into La Seu D’urgall and immediately felt relieved to be in a town that fit our ideas of what we expected.
The town was the site of the 1992 Olympic kayak slalom. This isn’t the actual course.
We stayed with Jordi in his converted old barn which is in a little village a few miles from town. Here he and some friends just returned from a run. Jordi has ridden Paris-Brest-Paris three times. He’s a mountain biker too and was a big help in our route planning for Spain.
This is the climb up to Jordi’s village.
It’s a real working farming community.
Today we’re in our 4th day of riding the Trans – Pyrenees MTB route. We are extremely impressed! More soon.
As you’ve noticed Patti has really taken to doing the photos and blog. I’m very thankful. We’ve downloaded a photo editor for Android that works great. With Patti’s eye and words this blog will improve dramatically.