Day 8: Col de la Perche to Cerbère

Tuesday June 14, 2011, 140 km (87 miles) – Total so far: 896 km (557 miles)

Last day of the coast-to-coast and pretty much all down-hill to the Med and our destination, the border town of Cerbere. The weather forecast for today promised blue skies and sunshine and although it was fairly cold as we left our col-top slum all the signs suggested that it was set to be a scorcher. We had a couple of coffee stops before lunch (riding downhill can be thirsty work), the first still high in the mountains on a terrace overlooking a stunning valley, and the second in the charming little town of Villefranche-de-Conflent which turned out to be a real gem. We then free-wheeled down to our last col of the trip and lunch.

We hit the coast mid afternoon and had a hillier ride along cliff-tops to Cerbere passing through Collioure, a former fishing port which has reinvented itself as a quaint seaside town full of boutiques and restaurants to help relieve the throngs of tourists of their cash.

We covered a lot of ground today but the riding was easy and the weather fantastic so a great way to end the trip. We ate seafood for supper accompanied by the local wine. We’d passed acres of vineyards during the afternoon which I think have quite a pungent smell, particularly in the sunshine. Jon couldn’t smell them at all. The weirdo.

It was still a bit cold as we started our descent first thing

It was still a bit cold as we started our descent first thing

We found a café with a balcony overlooking the valley

We found a café with a balcony overlooking the valley

A great shot of Jon riding through Villefranche-de-Conflent

A great shot of Jon riding through Villefranche-de-Conflent

Fantastic smooth flat roads between nectarine groves. Suddenly it was very hot too.

Fantastic smooth flat roads between nectarine groves. Suddenly it was very hot too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *