Jerry’s Tour le Pyrenées 2001 – Day Ten

Pau — Tarbes — St. Gaudens — St. Girons — Pamiers (212 km, 1539 m up, 11% max up))

Now there was only two days left which mainly consisted of transportation as quickly as possible back to Montpellier. The stretch from Pau to Tarbes was almost exactly straight all the way and almost absolutely flat. It took 20 minutes to get out of Pau and then one hour to Tarbes. It took one bloody hour to get through the bloody city of Tarbes – I really disliked that city. Totally confusing and no place where I could stop to eat that I could find at least. Bad streets in the city and hopeless traffic and nothing of interest to see at all, as far I could gather.

With relief I eventually left Tarbes behind (just an obstacle on the road). I had found nothing odd with the road from Tarbes to St. Gaudens, but it turned out that the road was going uphill at slightly more and more for miles and miles and that could be as tough as climbing in mountains. The road, even though marked as a red (major road) on the map was really roughly surfaced yet again. It was also getting very hot and it all combined to drain me of energy slowly. Up at 660 meters height I sudenly found myself on a very small road again as I tried to take the shortest road ahead. I passed by Montréjeau and St. Gaudens (where I nearly wrecked my bicycle due to the bad road in the city). I had a sandwich in St. Gaudens. No chance to get anything else to eat at that hour.

Again on a smaller an horribly surfaced road to the bigger road leading up to St. Girons (this road was good though). I never found anything to eat in St. Girons last time I passed by there, but thought I should try harder to find something this time. This city however simply has no place where you can buy any kind of food. The only thing I found after circling around in the town for twenty minutes was the Lidl shop, that sell only a limited amount of very low-priced artiscles in their shops that could be found in many cities around France. I got something there to eat, but it did not taste any good – I thought it was a more swedish kind of wheat-based coffe-bread (do not know what it could be called in english), but it was some french brioche-like stuff that one could possibly only eat a little of at a time and I had to throw most away.

Well, it was not so extremely hot any longer, so I again got in a bit better mood and continued up the road in the direction of Foix that I travelled in the other direction some days earlier when I left Foix for the second and last time. However, I turned off the road in the direction of the Grotte du Mas-d’Azil, which was the only really nice road that I had planned in for this day. It was a smaller decent road and I was happy to get of the major roads and their traffic. It was nice to cycle through these caves at Mas-d’Azil – I never thought the road went through them (especially not a small road like this one). I also had a photo inside the cave but that did not get any good and is the only photo I took that I have not shown on these pages. I was almost run over by a truck inside the cave – apparently not everyone thought it was a nice place to see.

The road got less exciting and more demanding up to Pailhès and some stretch thereafter. The last part for the day I spent on a terribly small road just above Pamiers, where it seemed like some local cyclists had made up marks in the road for their traing (or something) – here apparently everyone knew eachother and I had to say bonjour to a farmer and then it was a very nice little road down to back of Pamiers. I reached Pamiers just when the sun was going down. I found a little hotel that was rather bad and looked pretty dirty like the man running it.

I surely did not imagine Pamiers would be much to see and it surely was not – it was simply strategically places on the road back to Montpellier for me. I had a pizza and went to bed after cleaning my clothes as every other day.

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