Bay of Biscay : Across the Pyrenees to Spain



After several attempts over the years we have finally made it to Spain and even this year fate tried to show its hand!

After a couple of nights in the foothills of the Pyrenees we decide to take a smaller road south of Pau to cross the border towards Jaca. It was convenient because it meant we could spend a night in Laruns just a few kilometres from the border. Sat Nav and Google insisted that we go back to Tarbes, along to Pau and then south through a tunnel into Spain but we were having nothing of it and wanted to go to Laruns over the Col du Tormalet (2115m amsl) made famous by the Tour de France.

On the way down we stopped to take in the view and let Fred out. His reaction to the vista was one of incredulity and who can blame him. Another couple who witnessed it were so taken by him that their holiday album is now full of Fred pictures.

Shortly we traveresed the Col de Soulor atop which were a group of twitchers whom I imagine were waiting for Golden Eagle to drop out of the clouds, and the Col d’Abrusque that was sadly socked in by low cloud. It was interesting driving along a narro road with rock face on one side and cloud on the other!

We stopped in Laruns for the night, a camp site hanging on to the hillside overlooking the village. An excellent seafood risotto to polish off the day.


Thursday morning, a week after we left home we set out for the French / Spanish border crossing at the Col du Portalet. A well made up 2 lane road and by far the most picturesque on the Cols we had visited in the Pyrenees.

And now we were in Spain bowling down the mountains towards Jaca and Pamplona. The wide road cut down through the mountains with sweeping vistas, narrow gorges and surprisingly empty reservoir lakes.


Once out of the mountains the road became somewhat dreary with arid countryside. We tried to take a look at Pamplona but the signage in the city was dreadful so we decided to cut an run and make our first night stop in Spain at Estella.

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