I had a good sleep and left the former convent early and headed towards Andorra. I had no expectations of this country, had heard both good and bad. The road was scenic all along the way and I was enjoying myself even if I did feel very tired still. I contemplated all the beauty I had seen as I rode yet another stretch of mountain road. The weather was perfect, cloudy with sprinkles of rain that kept the temperature down comfortably but without letting the road get wet and slippery.
There was plenty of this
Some occasional ugliness
Just after finishing a thought about getting tired of beautiful landscape I entered Andorra, and what I saw was ugliness. It passed quickly though. The architecture of Andorra and also the Spanish part of the Pyrinees is distinctive from what I had seen before and it appeals to me in a modern but picturesque way.
I stayed in La Massana which is a mountain village and arrived at the hotel utterly tired but managed to go for a scenic walk and have dinner before hitting bed and sleeping for 12 hours. I did notice a few things about Andorra. First, petrol is very cheap, at least compared to France, and there were petrol stations everywhere – even on top of the mountain pass. Second, it is the place for all kinds of adventure stuff: climbing, downhill mountain biking etc. And third, it is a paradise for shopping.
The day that was to be my last I woke up tired but that was sorted with breakfast and the purchase of a new helmet roughly 40% cheaper than in Madrid. Then I headed out for another 200 kilometres Pyrinean mountain road riding. When, at 2′o clock, I still felt perky and relaxed I decided to give Zaragoza a miss and just head home. I felt that I had done my travelling for this time and that it would be nice to just get home to my fiancé and relax.
A village along road N 230
The ride was slightly longer than I thought but I managed to push on quite well when I left the mountains and I arrived in Madrid in the evening. I had done 670 kilometres and every bit of me ached. That is as much of an iron butt ride as I’m willing to do. I have no aspiration of taking on that challenge.
Now I’m going to rest, wash the bike and leave it at the garage for the scheduled service. I will be back with reflections of the ride, the bike and the rest.
Lazy Cat is very very dirty, but that is only to be expected after 5540 kilometres
Today I was prepared for some rain showers during the day and since I was going to ride in the mountains it was likely to be chilly. When leaving Feldkirch it was sunny and hot, soon I was sweating in my waterproof riding trousers and longjohns. When I got lost in Lichtenstein I almost got rid of them. How is it even possible to get lost in such a small country?!? But when I found my way up to the mountains and entered Switzerland it became nice and cool. And not much later cool and rainy which turned to freezing and hard rain.
A new and unexpected country to pass by
The little I saw of Lichtenstein was beautifull
At lunch I could state some facts. My jacket is leaking, and my new waterproof trousers are not waterproof. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any rainy days in Spain since I bought them so I haven’t had a possibility to try them out. Now I will be looking for the ticket to return them. I almost froze my ass off on that mountain pass today. Furthermore, they leaked into my boots witch are now also soaked.
The combination of the lakes and the mountains is stunning
The combination of the rain and the high altitude makes it so so so cold
And on top of all the heated grips are not working and my gloves are wet from putting my wet hand in them after checking the map so many times, since the road signs in Switzerland are hard to follow and the signed names are varying and road numbers not mentioned often. I am, though, very happy I’m in a warm bar and not in a tent. They even had cup noodles so I didn’t need to go out for dinner.
When paying for lunch and picking up my soaked jacket, which had made a small lake on the floor, I was thinking that Switzerland is in a way like Sweden, expensive, green, rainy and cold. It is also damn beautiful!
Today was my last day riding in Austria, tomorrow I will cross the border to Schweiz. I’m spending the night in Feldkirch and I had an amazing day riding here. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms along the way and here too, but I got rain less than half an hour. Just as long as it took to find a place to stop, get changed into waterproof riding trousers and transparent visor and then ride a couple of minutes
along road 178 between Bad Reichenhall and Innsbruck
for much of the day I was riding along the river Inn
riding towards St. Anton and Alberpass
Feldkirch is a lovely little town
It was a long day riding, somehow it always is. After unloading the bike and getting changed I have walked around town and had dinner. Now it’s time for bed. Tonight I’m in a 10 bed dorm, I hope not to many of them snore.