With two weather forecasts promising thunderstorms from 1pm on, we decided to have a bit of a shorter day today. The idea was to head up to the French border and then down the other side to Tarascon-sur-Ariège, a two hour trip one way, then see what the weather does and probably head back the same way.
Left our hotel in Encamp 10:30 and already it was quite warm. Probably around 25C. Still enjoyed the ride on the wide road through more ski villages all the way to the Tunel d’Envalira, which we sort of accidentally took. It was nice and cool in there, but we missed out on a lot of nice twisties. Boo.
It was quite busy on the other side towards the border to France, but we could filter almost to the top of the queue. That’s when Rich realised he had not brought his passport. He checked and double checked, but he simply had forgotten. Taking the risk of not being checked was not worth it. He may have not been checked on the way out, but maybe on the way in, which would’ve meant he would’ve been stuck in France then.
There really was no other way other than turning around and going back. Bugger. Well, couldn’t help it. This time we did not take the tunnel and instead the very nice CG-2 stopping at a great viewpoint just out of Pas de la Casa. Wow. It was also nice and cool up here.
Back on the bikes we made our way up and down the pass and really really enjoyed it. Stopped for a coffee and orange juice at a hotel half way. They had a nice garden out back and sitting there in the shade we just chilled.
Back at our hotel we changed and had some more chill time on the balcony of our room. Around 3pm we headed out to explore a bit more of Encamp looking for a nice place for late lunch. Didn’t really find anything as we shuffled through the now 33C heat. Some sliced salami and cheese from a supermarket was the only thing we could find. Everything else was either shut or not very inviting.
Walked around some more, wondering what Andorra was like before all the ski tourism started. The Principality is at least 1000 years old, so they must have lived off something back then. Nowadays, there are hardly any buildings that don’t look like a 70s hotel or other related ski tourism architecture. What did Andorra look like in the 1500s? The 1000s? What did they live off?
As we wandered around we actually found some buildings that looked more “original” in those very narrow alleys we got stuck in yesterday. Nice sandstone buildings, that are houses and not apartments or hotels. Quite lovely.
Our search for a nice bar of sorts ended unsuccessful, so instead we had a beer at our hotel sitting outside, chilling. Then went up to our room before heading out to our Argentinian restaurant again. There really wasn’t any other choice around that looked remotely as inviting. You’d have to get on the bikes and ride somewhere, which we’re considering doing tomorrow night. There was a nice grill place we had spotted on the way back.
Needless to say, that the thunderstorm never came. It was postponed to 3pm and then “cancelled” all together. We could’ve had a full day of riding again, but to be honest after a week of all day long riding every day we deserved a bit of a break even if the planned half day of riding turned out to be only like 2 hours or so.
Tomorrow, we’ll try again. Once more there are thunderstorms forecast for around mid day. And again we’ll head to France, this time a bit earlier and with passports, hoping that once more the forecast is a bit pessimistic.