Friday June 10, 2011, 103 km (64 miles) – Total so far: 412 km (256 miles)
As we loaded our bikes we watched one of the local dogs from Montroy chasing cars as they went through the village. He was a feisty little chap who had a good go a taking chunks out of the rear wheels of every vehicle. We were hoping that because we were starting in the village he would consider us locals and leave us alone. We were wrong. Luckily he didn’t try to bite either of us, but he did give chase, and he didn’t give up for a long while. I would guess he lasted 3-4 miles before heading back to protect the village from other passing travellers.
Today was our first day of serious climbing with both the Col de Marie Blanque and Col d’Aubisque on the itinerary. For me, the Marie Blanque was the tougher of the two climbs with several long steep sections. The Col d’Aubisque was higher (at 1709 meters) and marginally colder, but not so steep. There were no spectacular views on either climb because we were pretty much riding inside the clouds. Jon pointed out a few postcards of the Aubisque in the evening, it looks like we missed out on quite a view. The descents were freezing too, despite wearing two pairs of long fingered gloves my hands went numb on both.
The Col du Soulor was a freebie on the descent of the Aubisque. I was too cold to stop and take a photo of the col sign. I think Jon got one.