Cycle the Pyrenees Stage 12

Friday September 9; Stage 12

Prades to Ceret

Col de Palomere, 1036m

A long section of riding on the N road to Vinca started the day. We began riding in the dark quite glad to roll away silently from our closely packed patch of hard mud, and off into the red sky toward the rising sun. We avoided too much traffic by being so early and soon were travelling the quiet roads in between the more minor hills of the Pyrenees. A welcome breakfast stop on the way up the Col de Palomere, after which the weather started to become very hot, so that we were seeking shade, and seeing the tarmac bubbling as we rode over it. In this part of the Pyrenees there is less provision for the traveller, longer stretches without villages, water, or cafés, so a stop on someone’s steps on the outskirts of a hot village was forced when no better place could be found. We started to get long clear views towards the coast and glimpses of the sea from some of the vantage points along the way, which was very exciting. The town of Ceret was hot and busy, with a central square full of trees and cafes where we were only too pleased to set our bikes against a plane tree and relax. Following this we found a marvellous camp site a couple of kilometers out of town where we could wander amongst the orchards and set out tents wherever we liked in the fruity shade.

Red Sky as we ride towards the Coast

Red Sky as we ride towards the Coast

Ancient Monastery near Valmanya

Ancient Monastery near Valmanya

Breakfast stop on way up Col de Palomere

Breakfast stop on way up Col de Palomere

Col de Palomere

Col de Palomere

Forced stop for lunch on finding no cafes or water

Forced stop for lunch on finding no cafes or water

On the D13 towards Ceret

On the D13 towards Ceret

Ceret Town Square

Ceret Town Square

Orchard Campsite near Ceret

Orchard Campsite near Ceret

I practise cycling in my going out gear

I practise cycling in my going out gear

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