Ripoll to Berga - Dreaming On - Over the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

September 18, 2022

Ripoll to Berga

It's a bluebird day in the mountains.  After yogurt, granola and oranges in our hotel room, we planned to have coffees 12km uphill on the GI-401 at Gombren.  The first part was somewhat busy with cars and motorcycles but they soon were gone and we shared the tranquil route with road cyclists.  As we spun upwards we passed through meadows with cow bells ringing and hamlets with country churches.  

After cafe con leches at Gombren, we still had 8km to reach the Col de Merolla.  It was slow going, in fact it took us almost 2.5 hours for the total 20km uphill but the views made it worthwhile.  The granite peaks of the Pyrenees had finally appeared, we had endless vistas into the valleys below, blue sky and sunshine.   It was all we could have hoped for when planning this trip.  We donned our jackets for the thrilling, swoop off the col.  Car-free and windless, coasting 20km down butter-smooth pavement into Guardiola de Bergueda intending on finding a good restaurant for an extended Sunday lunch.  Our first choice, to our disappointment, was fully reserved, so we circled back to the taverna on the Main Street and joined a group of cyclists and two large family groups for a more modest meal.  We went for the plata del dias, which didn't quite measure up to yesterday's in Ripoll, but the shortcomings on the food were made up for by the half litres of  both colours of wine included with our meal (no we didn't drink it all!)

Strong coffee and dessert prepared us for the C16 with a wide shoulder but busy with cars heading back to the city.  After 12km of white-knuckle riding we were about to enter a 925m long tunnel when we saw an exit and escaped to take the longer (uphill) but definitely more scenic and car-free route the last stretch into Berga.  The city sits at the the foot of the great rock formations of the Serra de Querait and so the last 5km were a 150m drop off the ridge to arrive at our hotel.  The descent was fabulous but we know what that means, we have a difficult climb out of here tomorrow.  Oh, the joys of cycling in the mountains, can't wait!

Serene countryside churches
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Uphill and views of ever higher mountains
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First views of the Pyrenees
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Pont Vell (the old bridge) in Pobla de Lillet
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Scott AndersonI remember this bridge! When we were here five years ago there was a large Catalonian flag hanging down the arch, and flags flying from windows and lining the streets all through the town. It was the day of the vote for independence.
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1 week ago
ann and steve maher-wearyTo Scott AndersonScott I guess this is the newer of the town’s two old bridges. Yes we are reading your blog again as we go. It is so helpful. Today we followed your cycle ride but in reverse Sant Llorenc to Col de Nargo. Stupendous!! Tomorrow’s ride to Tremp (again we are doing it in reverse), over two Cols you said is even better! Wow! The cycling here is the best, incredible scenery, perfect pavement and no vehicles. Thanks for letting us know about this area!
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1 week ago
Where's the road?
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Taverna lunch in Guardiola de Bergueda
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Are we there yet?
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Pantalon de la Baells, the reservoir just outside Berga water level looks low but this is the end of summer
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Coming off the ridge to Berga
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Today's ride: 62 km (39 miles)
Total: 416 km (258 miles)

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