Friday, August 4, 2017

Day 13 Climb to Port de Palheres

At the top of Port de Palheres after a hot climb

After Tourmalet we left Lux Saint Savaeur on Wednesday 2 August and headed for Ax Les Thermes a small town in the Pyrennes (see wikepedia's description of Ax-les-Thermes )

The plan today was to cycle up to the top and then down the steeper side for coffee and then ride back to the top before rolling home down to Ax Les Thermes.Unfortunately it was pretty hot and the 19km ride up whilst not terribly steep had me coughing badly and I struggled to get up to the top ,taking over 1.4ohr to get to the top.As always there was a great view especially over the East side of the switchbacks ,the steeper side. If I went over I would be struggling to get back up in the heat.So decided to just ride back as the others did the longer ride. It was still enjoyable and great to have ridden up one of the lesser yet spectacular climbs of the Pyrennes.

We rolled back down not going fast as there was a bit of gravel about accept of a new section of freshly laid road.I got passed by a young cyclist about 5km down and about 4 km from the bottom he had crashed.Not sure how .Cars stopped and the ambulance was called . Fortunately there were 2 French speaking drivers who comforted him.We did not dare move him . The ambulance took quite a while to get there and we started down the col as everything was under control. Shows the danger of just a slight error when coming down such climbs.

Picture of the eastern side from the top
lots of horses about

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