Saturday, 23 August 2014

Post by Lady Grey: A Day in Spain

Post by Lady Grey: A Day in Spain I am once again relaxing at Hotel Rochers, St Savin, whilst Brexton T is climbing the mountains on his bike. I like to allow him at least one day per holiday to go out on his own without me holding him back. I am probably suitably recovered from the very hilly 50 miles we did in the Gers region now, so will hopefully be joining him on a ride tomorrow. Whilst he is away I will account for our day yesterday as last night he was busy planning his bike ride. We had planned one night in Spain so that we could access a ride up to the lakes just the French side of the Bielsa tunnel. Also it is a lot cheaper to stay in Spain – as we found later. Our accommodation was very acceptable and the room comfortable. The evening meal was rustic and substantial. However, the weather was not kind to us (well it may have been kind to me as the ride was due to be very steep and I was still stiff from a couple of days earlier!), so we decided to follow advice from the Gers B&B that the town further down the valley in Spain – Ainsa – was very nice to visit. It is 33km from Bielsa and took us about 30 mins to get there. Parking was free on the other side of the river and we then set off on foot to explore. We followed other tourists up steps to the old town. This proved to be very worthwhile and a lot bigger than either of us expected. Lots of restaurants and cafes line two sides of the main square. We walked along walls at the end of the square for a good view of the surrounding countryside and the lake further down the valley. As the weather was showery we took refuge in a small museum to nature containing information about flora and fauna of the Pyrenees. There was information on the endangered ‘Bearded Vulture’ but we were disappointed later on when there was no sight of a real bird in the ‘live bird’ section or even any footage during the video – which seemed to just be a long lesson in maintaining the environment of the Pyrenees. We were to learn however, that the live birds there in captivity had been injured in accidents such as electrocution and could no longer survive in the wild. The male and female owl had been able to produce two lots of offspring whilst in captivity – some consolation. We traced our steps back to the new part of town for lunch and coffee, finding tasty food at the restaurant at the Hotel and Hostal Dos Rios. Here we sampled a salad, small sausages with onions and ‘Patatas Bravas’. The menu of the day appeared good and the food other people were eating from this looked good too. At about 4pm we set off back up the valley to the Bielsa tunnel and our journey to St. Savin where we arrived about 7pm to find that we were not too late to order dinner.

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