Monday 26 August 2013

Voie Verte

A ride on the Voie Verte
Robert wonder where to put the window plank that keeps the shutters open. A view back to St Savin from the small chapel. Hotel Les Roches
Left the car in the car park just down from Les Roches and decided to do a short ride from St Savin. We descended the hill to Pierrefitte-Nestalas to join the voire Vert that is routed along an old tramway to the ski resort at Cauterets. The surface is not tarmac by compacted stone. A short tunnel was illuminated so lights were not required. Most of the path can be ridden but a short section where it diverted from the original tramway had to be walked because of the narrow path, steep descent and fence. After About 4 km the route was barricaded. We decided to continue via the road. We could see where the path had fallen into the river so we were wise to divert. Just short of Cauterets we could see where the valley had flooded and major construction works were taking place to replace the road that had been washed away and reinforce the river banks. Lunch was taken on a park bench in Cauterets before we headed back to Pierrefitte-Nestalas. The decent was a lot quicker than the ascent with over 30mph recorded. Lyn was much more sensible. We rejoined the voie vert for the last 4 km. We then did a short section of the velo vert towards Lourdes before climbing the hill back to St Savin. The short ascent was steeper than the Tourmalet in places! A quick walk round the church and were on our way to Les Clos Castel a short drive from CastelJoux. The drive was just under 3 hours. We were greeted by Alain and a welcome beer. He had made several alterations since our last visit and now has a sauna in addition to the Spa and swimming pool! He had also added some “architectural” planting round the pool and in the garden. We had to eat in the town and had pizza in the Grande CafĂ© in the main square. We sat outside and were surprised by how many of the dinners smoked and the amount they drank before driving off! The heavy rain in June had washed part of the Voieo Vert to be closed


  1. Isn't the plank needed to prop up the ceiling?
    Pleased to see the Tourmalet road is now open, but they should really remove the Hotel du Tourmalet from that Car Park. Was the Alpine Flower Garden open?

  2. The Tourmalet road is open from from Luz St Sauveur but with restricted times during the week. Did not have time to look the Alpine flower garden so do not know if it was open. We were told that the owners of the Tourmalet hotel had to pay 350,000 euros to have it demolished and there were problems with the insurance paying for the work as it could not be rebuilt. A look of work was going on reinforcing the river bank and clearing up the effects of the floods. It was similar in Cauterets.