Bedous to Larrau - Pau to Porto 2019 - CycleBlaze

July 5, 2019

Bedous to Larrau

And we thought yesterday was epic!

This was a challenging day. Over 1620 meters of climbing. And a 250m 13%er at the end of the day, just to remind us that we’re in the Pyrenees.
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Hi folks.  A long day and slow internet this evening means that I will have to update today’s ride in the morning.  Another really great day.

Hi again.  I’m updating this entry at 5:30am the next day.  Susanna is quietly sleeping beside me and there is a light patter of rain on the tent fly.  The small brook running behind our tent soothed us both into a deep sleep last night.  

Last night (July 5th), we dragged ourselves into Larrau and had a lovely meal and took a stroll through town under purple skies.  When we for back to camp, all our tired bodies wanted to do was to lie down and let our planet’s gravity pull is into a deep sleep.  

Love these old direction signs in France. Also good to know where the heart defibrillator is as well.
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One last look at the spectacular d’Aspe valley. Another hot one today.
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I guess we’re team blue today. We usually make a point of not dressing in the same colours.  When Sue looked at what I was wearing this morning, she said one of us has to change.  Little does she know I am secretly waiting for the day when we wear matching Hawaiian shirts.

Okay, I guess it’s worth one last look. Here we are about 2kms into what would be about 25 more kms of straight and stiff climbing today.
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Today we left the beautiful d’Apse valley and began heading west under mid 30 degree clear skies.  We opted for a more challenging direct route today and we paid for it.  There wasn’t enough water we could drink or sunscreen we could apply to beat this heat, and much of the route today saw very little shade. 

Love the deep greens of the Pyrenees. A well needed break in the shade,
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We saw no cars while climbing along this small road to the Col Bouesou. Looks steep, doesn’t it?
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The small roads we travelled today were mostly traffic free.  The only problem was that they were also freshly tarred and graveled which increased the rolling resistance, especially in the softer loose gravel.  But, we made steady headway as sweat literally dripped from our chins for hours.   

The first of three cols today. Two more to go, and another 700meters of climbing.
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Doesn’t this look like a nice spot for a snack?
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And, it has a picnic table. This region is full of great hiking. Here we are at one of many trailheads in the area.
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It’s hard to eat in this heat.  Both Susanna and I lose our appetites in this weather.  We bought a beautiful baguette, prosciutto and cheese at the same boulanger from yesterday in Bedous, but we just couldn’t eat.  Instead, we ate the basque creme tarts and pain aux raison instead.

Second col of the day. Sue in the rear of the shot reluctantly contemplating the next climb. I hear ya sister!
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She’s alive......she’s alive.........
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Approaching the ski area of St. Pierre Martin.
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Another look.
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Made it. Finally ready for the descent after all that climbing.
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Weeeeeee........
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Sue knows she will always win the ‘Find the Wild Strawberry’ game with my green/red colour blindness.
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Descending towards the town of St. Engrace.
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Do you remember me writing about that prosciutto and cheese, and something about eating it in the heat?  Well.  Eventually, we all have to eat. So, when we arrived at the bottom of this descent, we were famished.  So why not pull out the meat and cheese that has been cooking inside my black panniers all day?  You’re all thinking, “You didn’t “.  Yes. We did.  The cheese was gooey and stinky and he meat warm.  Sue cooly commented as she pulled off a piece of runny cheese, “ You know.  We could die from eating this stuff.”  I agreed and we both took our chances.  The salt from the prosciutto so needed after all that sweating.

We stopped here for a cold drink. When I asked to fill our water bottles, the lady pointed to the beer taps at the bar. One of them was ice cold water. She said to me, ‘I’ll fait chaud, uh?”......oui!
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The view from our front porch tonight. Campground in Larrau.
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Today's ride: 55 km (34 miles)
Total: 124 km (77 miles)

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Scott AndersonHey, Patrick! Have I mentioned yet that I’m starting to get envious of you two? First Lescun, and now this. The ride from Sainte Engrace to Larrau has been on my ride wish list for many years but somehow we never managed to fit it in. I can’t wait to see & hear all about it.
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1 week ago
Patrick O'HaraHi Scott. Thanks for writing. It was a beautiful ride. We are in Larrau now and it’s pretty socked in at the moment. We are heading over the Col de Curutcheta today and into St. Jean Pied de Port. Hopefully it clears up. And, we are envious of you. You guys truly are amazing.
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1 week ago