34-15.06.-Sa-La Boulou – L’Escala

My first view out of the window showed blue sky and bright sunshine.

After breakfast I started at about half past nine. Meanwhile the weather had changed to overcast with dark clouds.

Nevertheless I started. The beeline to Spain was about 10 km and a climb of about 300 meters up to about 400 meters.

After about 7 kilometers the climb started. The landscape was breathtaking. Macchia! Real macchia! Mostly these wonderful cork and Holm oaks up to about 8 meters high.

Because of the bushfires the macchia is rare. Mostly you find Garrigue almost 1 to 2 meters high.

The road was narrow and lonesome. But a great number of cyclists some of them with numbers. Maybe there was a race.

The landscape was marvelous.

Arriving at the pass I entered into Spain 🙂

And the EV 8 turned to a backcountry direct track. It was amazing. Up and down. Steep and steeper. Dismounting and walking. Mount again. And so on. It was really great. I liked it very much.

Through a tunnel under the highway and I suddenly was at the first Spain village named la Jonquera.

It’s really amazing and impressing that a few kilometers away so many things are different. Especially the language.

So I was a bit nervous whether I can survive 😉

Now I learned Spanish for one month with an app. Daily about 15 minutes. The waiter at the restaurant asked me „come“ and I actually understood 😉 yes, I wanted to eat. And she brought a Spanish / English menu.

After this break and I felt reinvigorated and started again with a horrible but short climb. But on every climb follows the downhill. This time on a dirt road.

At the end of the downhill was a crossroad. A young couple on their bikes stood there and I stopped too to talk to them. After some words in English we switched to German 😉

They are from Cologne, drove with their car to Lyon and started cycling there. Within one week they came here doing 100 km a day! They also used booking.com.

But they had problems with their wheels. They were good and fast on asphalted roads but not so on dirt roads.

Especially at the man’s bike two spokes were broken. He was the heavier one of them.

We compared their bikes with mine and it was obviously that the factor are the rims. The rims on my bike are much stronger than theirs. So I unterstand why my bike works that perfect.

We cycled again and I was the faster one. As soon as good roads came they overtook. But after a short while dirt roads were back they had to slow down. I never saw them again. About three firth of the way was dirt road.

Every village I came along was clean and proper. And in the evening after dinner strolling through the streets of L’Escala I could look around. In French villages I had to carefully look onto the streets to avoid dog poops. There are really many of them 🙁

Well, this is Catalonia. Two years ago Carles Puigdemont tried to get Catalonia independent from Spain and an own state.

Could it be that Catalans are different to the other Spanish citizens? Maybe the other Spanish are more like the French and a bit lazy?

I’ll keep an eye on this issue 😉

Place name signs in French on the right and Catalan on the left.
Over there Spain 🙂
Are they joking? The pass is only 300 meters high. But maybe dangerous in case of bushfire?
Wonderful macchia.
Still France.
Fortunately today no fire risk.
Perfect street signs.
Concerted road.
Fort Bellegarde for fights between Spain and France.
Done 😉
In front of the cemetery the EV 8 turns right and to dirt road.
An information board about the Catalan bike path initiative pirinexus with very well signposting along the Greenways, means dirt roads.
First view towards Spain.
Dirt track through macchia. Really fantastic.
Dismount and walk 😉
Perfect road signs.
Left the highway. Right the railway. Here my tiny narrow lane.
Keep your head down! Under the highway. The entrance surrounded by macchia. The exit to the village La Jonquera.
After the village the same way. But the landscape had changed a bit. Not that densely wooded and many of these large round rocks.
Similar to Sardinia.
Although the cables are not buried well refurbished and clean and proper.
Siesta 🙂
Village Peralda.
Good old Massey Ferguson.
The Pyrenees in the background where I was coming from.
The irrigation system with absolutely clear water.
Historical but refurbished village.
I saw a large bird in the sky stopped and was sure to see a stork but was wondering. A few minutes later I saw this information board 🙂
Car wash – – bike wash 😉
And another car wash with runway.
Wheat as far as you can see. Almost ready to harvest.
Arroz. Riso. Riz. Rice. Reis.
The Mediterranean again 🙂
Entering Spain in 9 hours and 79 km. GT 1.952 km.