dimanche 10 juillet 2016

Mont Canigou

After two unsuccessful attempts with my road bike, the first time I didn’t find the good track, the second time I renounced a little after the col del Forn, where the unpaved track begins to get rougher, I finally managed to take my MTB to perform this climb. What I finally saw of the chalet des Cortalets road showed me how ridiculous I had been trying to make it with a road bike.

So on Sunday I took in Nice the train to Perpignan with my MTB. My plan was to stay the night in Prades, climb the Canigou on Monday and join my wife Monday night in Roquefort des Corbières, a village in the Aude department. Meanwhile she would have done the trip from Nice with the car and could bring me my road bike for a further BIG trip in the Pyrenees.

After having left the Perpignan station, I followed at first the old Prades road, parallel to the new main road, through the villages of Le Soler, Saint-Féliu-d'Avall and Corbère. In Bouleternère, I finally turned towards the mountains. I had time before being in Prades and was happy to visit some passes before. So I photographed my bike in front of the col Fourtou, col Xatard and col Palomère signs and went down to the Prades road, that I joined through Finestret. This was a little diversion from the direct road, but it was all downhill and it allowed me to be back on the highway a little closer from Prades.

In the morning, after having annoyed the man at the hotel for being able to leave at 6 am, I headed to Villerach, where starts the Canigou track. The road to this village is found at the south exit of Prades, and there is also an access through Los Masos, a little downer on the Perpignan road. Up to Villerach, the road is asphalted, but immediately after, it turns to an unpaved track. For a few kilometres, before arriving to the coll del Forn car park, the track is nice, with no stones, but from this point to the end, it’s a mix of good track, bad track, with even some asphalted parts, with a tendency to get worst as we advance. But, after a long climb, I arrived happily at the chalet des Cortalets, and was very glad to have finally reached this BIG, that the use of the MTB prevented me to climb before.

To go back to Roquefort, I went through Fenouillèdes and Corbières. These countries in the north of the Pyrénées-Orientales and south of the Aude offer nice roads, hilly and quiet, and are a pleasure to cycle. Furthermore, I was able to pass by the gorges de Galamus, which are a curiosity to see. And in the evening as expected I found again my wife and my beloved Time.

Pictures : http://cathie.charbonnier.free.fr/piwigo/index.php?/category/9

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