Roses to Cadaques - Dreaming On - Over the Pyrenees - CycleBlaze

September 12, 2022 to September 13, 2022

Roses to Cadaques

Waking early to the sounds of the street cleaning machines, we did our morning stretches and hurried down for our first hotel breakfast of this trip (we are surprised how many places no longer offer a breakfast, but perhaps they too are feeling the shortage of employees in this part of Spain).  We probably dawdled too long over second cappuccinos, because it was already very hot when we were finally loaded and ready to ride at 10am.  
The ride to Cadaques from Roses is quite short at 17km, but it's 8.5km straight up to a 500m pass, then 8.5 down.  Cadaques is a popular day trip for people staying in Roses so although it was a Monday morning, the road was busy, with lots of hairpin turns, negligible shoulders and little shade.  About half way up the cars were stopped -was it simply the volume of traffic, or an accident, or construction?  At first we struggled to ride on the inside of the stopped cars, but this was frustrating as some drivers were pulled over to the right enough that we couldn't get by, and there was a nasty little drop from the pavement's edge to the dirt shoulder.  With the steep climb in the baking heat, breathing exhaust fumes and winding between cars, this was turning into the ride from hell... until we figured out that the cars coming down were in small batches, so most of the time we could safely pull out and ride up the oncoming lane, away from the mufflers and open doors.  When a batch did come down, we pulled over into a shady spot and rested, admiring the view while they rushed by.  Then the up lane was moving so we stayed to let a group of cars go up.   At the point where the vehicles were being stopped, the traffic attendant let us by so we had the road to ourselves until we were at the construction very near the top.  We could see to Cadaques and, as the cars were still waiting, we cruised downhill on an empty road, thanking our lucky stars for such a marvellous ride.
Cadaques is a picture-perfect Costa Brava seaside town with whitewashed buildings clustered around three bays with pebbly beaches, the cove dotted with boats bobbing at anchor and loads of people strolling the sidewalks or sitting in cafes.  With three hours to go before check-in, we chose a beach for a swim and then found a shady spot for a grocery-store picnic.  After a siesta and a shower, we headed out for the evening and ended up at a tiny, bohemian pizza place where an impromptu group seated at an outside table treated us to Spanish guitar music.  
Next day was a rest day for the bikes and, knowing how hot it gets, we headed out early for a bakery breakfast.  The walking trail to the Lighthouse is 4km, all the way to the edge of town then climbing over a scrubby headland with lovely views across the Cadaques Bay.  On the way back we scrambled down into a perfect cove for what we decided was the best swim on the trip: crystal clear water, gentle waves and just that perfect temperature to cool down and refresh ourselves for the rest of the hike.  To escape the afternoon heat we retreated to our hotel with a bag of ice, bottles of agua con gaz and rose wine, and planned out the next phase of the tour: into Girona and across the Spanish foothills to Vielha where we will traverse into France.  We are looking forward to the mountains and hope this week we have warmed up our muscles for the climbs ahead.  But we will miss the beaches!
This Costa Brava leg of the tour has exceeded our expectations in so many ways; the smooth roads, the gorgeous, hilly scenery and, best of all, the beaches. This is definitely on our list of places to come back to someday.

Costa Brava Statistics:
8 days, 6 towns
205km cycled
2,033m elevation gained (and lost)
7 beaches swum at

Road construction ended up being a treat for cyclists
Heart 1 Comment 0
Looking down to Cadaques
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 5 Comment 1
Kelly MaherWow! Looks beautiful!
Reply to this comment
1 week ago
Heart 1 Comment 0
To the lighthouse
Heart 2 Comment 0
A perfect swimming cove
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Coca vidre pinyons is a local specialty made with honey and pine nuts. Great for desert.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Outdoor diners at the vegetarian restaurant downstairs. We planned to eat there the second night but Tuesday is their day off.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Moonrise from our balcony
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 21 km (13 miles)
Total: 212 km (132 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Scott AndersonYou made it out to Cadaques! I’ve been wondering if you’d go there. A challenge to get to (and leave, of course) but well worth the work.
Reply to this comment
2 weeks ago