In Ceret: the countryside - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

December 3, 2018

In Ceret: the countryside

On the first day of my 73rd year, we biked along the Cote Vermeille from Collioure to Port Bou and back.  It was an outstanding ride, and one we thought was one of the most scenic of the tour.

On the second day of my 73rd year, we biked from Collioure to Ceret, following the EV8 along the Tech River, with Caginou looming larger and more awesome with each mile we rode.  It was an outstanding ride, and one we felt might be the most scenic of the tour so far.

On the third day of my 73rd year, we took a loop ride into the hills east of Ceret.  This wasn’t just an outstanding ride - it was almost overwhelmingly beautiful.  We both feel sure it was the most beautiful ride of the tour.

So what the hell is going on here?  Three days, three phenomenal rides.  Is this really what being 72 is going to be like?  This can’t just continue like this, can it?

Leaving Ceret, we cross the Pont du Diable. Just one more thing to love about this town.
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The first half of the ride is generally uphill, climbing to an elevation of 2,500’. We start getting fine views of the mountain almost immediately. The road constantly twists and turns, exposing us in turn with the mountain, views south to the coast, or to the predominantly oak forest.
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The ridges are predominantly covered in oak, but there are scattered small vinyards here and there.
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Note that the distance markers here sport the Catalan colors.
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I’m not that up on Mediterranean fish varieties, so help me out here. Is this a Catalan Carp, or a Fueltank Flounder?
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Bill ShaneyfeltHeh-heh... I can't tell the species, but I'd lay money on it being invasive! :-)
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1 week ago
The higher we climb, the better the views become as we move in on the mountain.
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Oms, the first of the few small villages we pass through today.
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So this has my vote for best horse photo of the tour. What do you think?
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Steve Miller/GrampiesIt surely is right up there.
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1 week ago
Bruce LellmanI don't even care for horses but that's one cute horse. That might even be the Pinkie of horses.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyYes! Definitely an excellent horse photo.
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1 week ago
I was surprised that cork oaks are harvested here.
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Mike AylingThe screw cap is making inroads into wine bottle closures in many parts of the world

Mike
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Mike AylingThat, and plastic plugs. Somehow though a petrochemical plant doesn’t have the same romantic aura as a shorn cork trunk.
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1 week ago
Astounding. After weaving through the oaks for a ways, you round a bend to a view like this that stops you in your tracks.
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It feels like we’re at the top of the world here, but we’re still climbing
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First summit, and I think the highest point we’ve been since entering France a month ago.
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Bruce LellmanThat's a lot of signage.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanAnd this is the cropped version. It continues off to the right.
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1 week ago
The XIX century Chapel of the Trinity, Prunet-et-Belpuig. I think this is the most scenic church setting we’ve seen on this tour. What do you think?
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The Chapel of the Trinity
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Portal, Chapel of the Trinity
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Our plane tree photo for the day, in case you were thinking I’d forgotten.
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The tiny town hall, Prunet-et-Belpuig
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Topped out, finally. We’ve got a few rollers still ahead, but it’s mainly downhill from here on out.
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Bruce LellmanThis is such a nice photo of you. You look so happy!
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanOf course happy, silly. I’m at the top!
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1 week ago
First though, we should do something with the ham, cheese and bread we hauled all the way up here. I think this is the most scenic lunch spot of the tour. What do you think?
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Jen GrumbyNot too shabby!!
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1 week ago
One thing I was excited about in taking such a late season tour was the fall colors. I didn’t expect though that the best would come in December, after the woods elsewhere are mostly brown and bare. I think, blah, blah, blah.
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This gal just wants her picture taken, I think. She stood statue still for almost a full minute, staring back at me. Personally, I find it hard to rate cow photos, but I think this is a pretty great cow portrait.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesCows we have encountered seem to most often stand with their butts facing us. Yours is much more polite.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesMy experience also, usually. I wonder why this one found me so attractive? I wonder if I should be concerned?
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1 week ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonConcerned, or maybe flattered.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyExcellent photo! Not only because the cow finds you interesting, but also because it's one of the happiest and healthiest looking cows I've seen.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYou’re right! She looks like she just stepped out of a Borden’s advert.
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1 week ago
We thought the best of the ride was behind us when we lost our view of the mountain, but five or ten miles of this changed our minds.
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Uh, wow.
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So bright. It almost looked like a ginkgo when I first saw this tree.
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This would not look out of place in southern Utah.
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And don’t forget to check out the video. You can imagine what I think of it.
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Not a bad looking wall, not at all. The waterfall just adds a splash of color.
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It’s not just the foliage that is so colorful.
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The view south to the sea from Montbolo
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Amelie-Les-Bains, from just below Montbolo
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The crazy descent to Amelie-Les-Bains looks like the tangle below for about two miles - one crazy serpentine after another.
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Steve Miller/GrampiesI would rather go down than up!
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1 week ago
So what kind of cat is this? I’ve never seen its like - it looks like a toy ocelot. And it looks a bit menacing, and on the hunt.
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Andrea BrownIt's a Bengal cat, a spendy breed here in the states.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyWhat a striking animal .. love those green eyes!
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1 week ago
Not so menacing, after all. Just on the hunt for some love. I think this is my favorite cat of the tour.
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Ride stats today: 38 miles, 3,100’; for the tour: 3,094 miles, 158,300’

Today's ride: 38 miles (61 km)
Total: 3,094 miles (4,979 km)

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Comment on this entry Comment 6
Andrea BrownI love all the joy that you share in this trip. Your birthday is every day from here on out.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownOh, thanks, Andrea. At that rate I’ll be 130 before we meet again!
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1 week ago
Bruce LellmanIt's been a very Vermillion year for you too.
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1 week ago
Rich HarrellThe cat resembles a Savanna Cat -- might search for that breed and look at the photos and see what you think.

Great tour, enjoying following along!
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1 week ago
Rich HarrellMaybe a Bengal -- just chatting with a Cat Expert :)
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Rich HarrellThat was Andrea’s take also, that she’s a Bengal. I stared at a gallery of photos of both the Bengal and Savannah and couldn’t decide, until I read about the Savannah, a hybrid bred with a serval - half wild, half domestic. The looks are there, but it’s not large enough. It must be a Bengal.
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1 week ago