I got on my bike and rode only uphill for eleven miles. Starting from a small Pyrenean village; it seemed I was leaving all signs of civilization behind. Houses soon turned into rooftops, billiard flat tarmac roads turned into rough gravel tracks and people turned into footprints.
About halfway up I had to stop; because I did not want to frighten a flock of sheep being herded down into the valley, before the coming autumn storms. The shepherd apologised for inconveniencing me. I explained: “I am in no rush. Anyhow, man made time means nothing up here in the mountains. Changes in the landscape, in nature; can be measured in years not minutes.” She smiled wisely, nodded and bid me good day.
The only other person I met that day was a park ranger driving down the rough track in a huge 4×4 truck. I pulled to one side and stopped to let him pass. As he drew alongside I waved and smiled. With that he wound down his window and asked if I needed help or if there was a problem. I laughed and explained I was simply wishing him a good day! With that he laughed too and we went our separate ways happier but wiser too.
Parking, refreshments and other tips:
There is a free car park at the start of the ride. The nearby down of Ainsa has a couple of decent supermarkets as well as bike shops. As always check the weather and bring suitable clothing, food and drink.
4 hr 38 minutes
Measured by inexplicable feeling.
Below is a video I have posted on YouTube; of my descent down from the mountains. It is long at almost 30 minutes; yet you could put on a relaxing tune whilst playing the video as a possible focal point as you relax into a better place.
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