Here’s a tip – Don’t try to cycle this route, as road works on the motorway around Puerto de Monrepos will prevent you from progressing. I was lucky; the road works were just beginning, and I managed to ride through. The Ayerbe road is the only route for cyclists now. Between Arguis and Puerto de Monrepos there is no road other than the motorway.
Good Hotel, La Posada de la Luna. Great shower – it had about a dozen nozzles, a rainfall showerhead, and a hand spray. Almost needed a manual to use it. Up at 8:00, showered, ready for the road; breakfast was the usual bust – no cereal, bread, cheese and meat, and croissants and cake. I had two croissants and some cake, plus a banana, OJ and coffee. I was on the road North by 8:15. This is the first reference to Don Quixote I’ve seen, too.
Another hot day ahead, with lots of climbing, so it could be a long one too.
The N-330 runs North, alongside the new motorway, the A-23. The N-330 dances over, under and around the motorway, like an apprentice tailor sewing up their first seam. In a couple of places it actually becomes the motorway, but there was always a local road to take, renamed the N-330a, or N-330b.
This worked well, until Arguis.
At Arguis, the N-330 became the motorway, but there was an offshoot; the C-136 according to milestones on the roadside, or, on my tablet maps, and road signs, the N-330b. It’s a steep climb that goes on forever, and it finishes up way above the motorway, which disappears into a tunnel. The N-330b does the same – into a long tunnel (so dark in the middle that I got off and pushed). The tunnel was named as the Tunele de Mon Repos. When I hit daylight at the end, there was a big sign saying the road ahead as closed, and a huge dirt mound blocking the way ahead. The first indication of a closed road – right at the end; not the beginning. D’oh. I could see the motorway again, way down in the valley below, but no other roads. I checked my tablet maps, and my choices were non-existent; I could only retrace my riding almost to Huesca again, then take the Ayerbe to Pamplona road. I’d done three hours by then, most of it uphill.
Then a mountain biker appeared from the tunnel. He told me that the road was closed because of a couple of collapsed bits, but that a bike could still, with a bit of effort, get through to Puerto de Monrepos – he was a local, and that was his route. So I followed. He disappeared very quickly, and I plodded along, staying away from the edge.
After about 5 km it became a very broken path, with huge earth movers and the like, working on the next bit of motorway. I pushed through the works, and rejoined the N-330. Phew.
It was scarily busy, as the motorway had ended, but the next section was under construction
so the verge was sometimes blocked; lots of traffic, and a very steep descent, with a large drop into the gutter next to me. Here’s the view from the top of the descent; those are the Pyrenees in the distance.
I crawled downhill for nearly 10 Km, being pushed about by the wind from passing trucks, and the occasional gust as I passed a cutting. At the bottom of the descent I took the road to Sabinanigo. One stop, as they were blowing up a cutting for yet more motorway. The N-330 road is much more peaceful, as the Pamplona stretch of motorway is complete and only local traffic uses the Sabinanigo road, at least in Summer. It runs along the base of the Pyrenees, and Sabinanigo is one of many Jindabynes; ski resorts with lots of accommodation – not much of it open in the Summer though. Tomorrow might be a long day; Pamplona is 140 Km away, and hotels are thin on the ground – there’s one 20 Km away, and another 80 km away. That’s the one I’ll head for.
I was hoping to reach Jaca, because I could make a great pun about how hard it was to get there, but I’m done.
I’m in the Hotel Mi Casa, and it has a restaurant, so I’m here for dinner and breakfast tomorrow. My room has a great view –
I’m weary – 5 and a half hours to make 55 Km. Some serious hills today. I’ll sleep well.
See you down the road.