This weekend, I rode up to the Pyrenees mountains to visit Juan and Bea, from back when I was riding up to Alaska with Stefano. They have finished their cycling trip and now live in the mountains in a cute little village near the French border called Val d’Aran.
I had tried for a few months now to visit them up in Val d’Aran. However, with the mountains comes snow; and with the winter comes lots of snow. Heh! I really didn’t fancy riding up there to get frozen. The ride up was a little longer than I had hoped. Between various routes available, my GPS chose the worst/best route. The route took me the shortest route, through all the mountain passes down tight little windy roads through little villages with peculiar names. Eventually, after almost 4 hours, I made it to Valimós where Juan and Bea live. Juan has set up a fat bike company where he rents and gives tours.
Instantly, I was greeted with hugs and before I was out of my bike gear, I was set about trying to repair Juan’s chainsaw. Don’t mistake this as a chore, I was in my element! I love feeling useful and was happy to be outdoors doing “manly” things! We tried tirelessly to repair the chainsaw; but kept having issues with the chain becoming slack and basically polishing the oak. The following day we found that when Juan had changed the chain, he hadn’t installed the new chain but swapped it for a used Chinese chain he had from another machine.
Later that evening we went to see some of the sights. Basically, looking in any direction. That evening we were hit by a summer storm and had to take refuge in a bar while we waited to collect his bikes.
Later that evening Bea came home from work and we had a great risotto and caught up on our travel stories. It’s funny how only meeting for a short amount of time you can build such a strong bond between friends!
The following day, Juan and I took a bike ride up on the snow in Beret. The snow was quite mushy, but I was surprised how easy I could ride on the snow! It seemed like good promotion for the company, as lots of people came to us with curiosity about cycling on snow. 🙂
That afternoon, we cut more timber. Let me tell you: green oak and a blunt chainsaw made for very hard work!
In the evening, we had another summer storm. Juan prepared a wonderful Spanish stew. Some friends came over, we ate and playing cards and other games until late. It was a great evening!
On Monday, I rode back to Barcelona in order to make my evening class. However, I wish I had stayed in the mountains!