Autumn in the Pyrenees (Benasque Valley)

The unbearable midday sun, tourists and flies have all gone. The shepherd is hurrying home as fast as his sheep, the leaves are bowing out gracefully and the mountains are bringing out their white winter coats.

Yes, autumn is here; in the high Pyrenees. Yesterday, I felt warm in a vest; today, the cold icy wind claws at the many layers around my suddenly fragile body and heart.

Come, let us climb up into those places one more time; before we beat a retreat in respect of Mother Nature.

So starting from the spa town of Benasque; I followed the river up the valley. After a short while I took a quiet road up to the out of season ski resort of Cerler and Ampriu. As soon as I stopped ascending; my heart slowed and I immediately felt the cold.

Descending via a circuitous route; I made use of an old drovers road, passing a tranquil lake as well as numerous cottages hunkering down for the winter ahead.

When I returned to the start point of Benasque; I too sought the warmth and tranquillity of my own fireplace.

It is cold out there; yet without the cold, inside and out, you will never appreciate the warmth!

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Parking, refreshments and other tips:
There is plenty of on street parking in Benasque; as well as a large free car park, as you come into town. There are three decent supermarkets in Benasque as well as many bars, cafes and restaurants. So no excuses for bonking, sugar dropping or simply starving.
Outside of August this tourist town is normally quite quiet; except for weekends. As this ride involves using a mountain road that can also be used at weekends by ‘Formula 1’ fans as well as distracted, drunk and deranged Spanish men and women. I would advise you to try this ride in the week; or early in the morning when the rest of Spain still seems to be asleep. After the famous Spanish lunch and siesta; I would take care or better still relax with family and friends too.

Energy required:
1,495 Calories

Time taken:
3 hrs 59 minutes

Oh, yeah; I am more relaxed than Bob!

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