Above Lescun - Ibon d'Estanes

The volume of traffic and huge number of heavy trucks makes the N134 road to the Col du Somport a hideous route to cycle. 

I know people (ie, me) like ticking off Cols, but even I said no to this one.

In facts, the only section I would ever consider riding is the top, after the main flood of traffic filters off to use a summit tunnel.  

Either that, or take part in the QBH Sportive for which they close this road and the D934 road over the Col du Pourtalet.

There's not a lot to say about our hike to Ibon d'Estanes. From the Sansanet car park, below the Col du Somport, a clear path climbs through forest then pasture to the border where the National Park signs end along with the waymarking.  

Nevertheless the track is clear and you know when you've reached your destination as there's a large lake in front of you. 

This is clearly a popular outing.  On descent we passed a large coach-load of French hikers, split into two groups each with a guide, some of whom carried remarkably large packs for a day-hike.  

Up and down, the whole route took us about three hours, leaving us plenty of time to move on to our next destination.

Finally it was time to enter the Haut Pyrenees and tackle some of the classic climbs of the Tour de France.

Our base would be Argeles-Gazost at the foot of the Col d'Aubisque.  The Aubisque is tomorrow at 08:00am.

Incidentally - while looking for an outdoor store to buy a compass, we came across a huge superstore in Oloron Ste-Marie specialising in outdoor and sports equipment.  From the ring-road look for signs to Sports Loisirs, part of Leclerc group.

What's this about? We took our campervan down the Pyrenees this summer, riding classic cols and hiking great walks. Now I'm sharing the info about best campsites for the best rides.

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