Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Transpirinaica 2013

In September, we brought a wonderful group from Calgary on a journey across northern Spain, along the Pyrenees through Aragon, Navarra and ending in Basque Country in San Sebastian. We took our time staying two or three nights in each place and getting a feel for the local cuisine, culture and sights.

We passed through amazing scenery, came upon village festivals, weaved around sheep and cows, and felt the wonder of the high mountain passes on a queen stage making a loop through France.

At our first hotel in BoltaƱa, we were lucky enough to coincide with three pro teams staying there for La Vuelta Espana. At dinner that night we anxiously awaited the Astana, Saxo Bank and Sky teams and got to see how high the riders pile their plates with food!
The next day, we saw a stage of la Vuelta finish in Formigal after hopping on the ski lifts up to the top of the mountain.
 Bikecat Cycling Tours

I believe the heart of our visit came at our three night stay in the beautiful rural hotel, El Caserio de Fatas, near Jaca with our hosts Raul and Ruth. They made us feel at home, let us do our laundry, and provided us with quiet respite after some tough days on the bike. They even had a masseuse come to quell some pains at the end of the day. Raul accompanied us on a few stages here as it is his home and he knows it best, he also led the group out for a night of tapas in Jaca. Thank you so much Raul and Ruth!

Bikecat Cycling Tours

We then had a night in misty Roncesvalles, the popular starting village for the Camino de Santiago in Spain. We dined on a simple Pilgrims menu, and it was just the right thing before a good night´s sleep.

Now worn and weathered cyclists gathered for our last hotel change of 133km from the region of Navarra to the Basque Country and the fabulous coastal city of San Sebastian. Time for some celebration!

 Bikecat Cycling Tours
After the trip, during our drive back to Girona, I thought about how vast an area we covered and how it would be so nice to just keep on going...that maybe this could be life...well, it was nice to think about for a while.