St Jean Pied de Port - Ride 1

I'm sure you already know about the historic links this town has as a mountain crossing base and key stage for pilgrims on the way to Santiago.  

For us it was an initial base to relax after the drive south and to get the feel of the Pyrenees. 

We felt the lower Cols of the Atlantic Pyrenees would be a gentle warm-up before the big boys of the Haut Pyrenees.  

In the next few posts I'll list three circuits from St Jean which we enjoyed and acted as fantastic introduction to this area.

The first is a 70km low-level circuit with a side-trip up a valley, as recommended in a topo from the Tourist Office. 

Just the sort of easy trip to break us in we thought.  

As a result, we started late (10:30-ish) and ended baked in the afternoon heat which is intensified in every valley.  

Lesson one - be up high by mid-day or swelter.  

We ended up having to cut short the circuit across it's middle just to get back to the cool of the campsite swimming pool.

Apart from the heat, I don't remember much about this ride, but it did serve as an introduction. 

We stayed at Camping Narbaitz and when we needed stuff, easily rode to town where there are loads of places at eat, two supermarkets and a bike shop. The bike shop looked well stocked, but I never saw it open.

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