Pyrenees and Andorra

The journey from Ainsa to Andorra was incredible if not a little hair raising. The N260 highway is basically like a piece of spaghetti as it twists and turns east across the Pyrenees.  The views of snow capped mountains, craggy rocks, dense forests, rivers and small villages were amazing, or so Sharon tells me, as I was concentrating on either the sheer drop on one side of the van and/or the next up and coming hair pin bend.  I can’t put the words down to explain this road, but it is definitely one of the most exciting I have driven on and I would love to have another ‘pass’ in the future but on this time in a convertible and not a 3.5 tonne camper.  We did have one very scary moment as we turned around a blind hair pin to find a Dutch motorhome completely on the wrong side of the road and coming towards us, we really don’t know what he was doing to have got in such an incorrect position, but an emergency stop combined with a slight swerve towards the sheer drop was my default reaction as we stopped slightly to the side of them and looked directly into their blue eyes.  The next camper incident we saw was a Spanish Ducato which had pulled up with a smashed off left hand side wing mirror, again indicating that this road is quite thin.  In fact, in places it is a single carriage (but remaining 2 way!) as it cuts through a long gorge as the photo shows.  Luckily on this stretch we got a clear run which pleased me as this was not the place to practice my reversing skills back up to one of the passing places.

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Through the gorge, N260

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N260 hairpins below

By the time we arrived in Andorra for the night, I was pretty cooked after completing the 170 KMs across the N260, which in total took 4.5 driving hours.  We decided to stay in Saint Julia de Loria and not the capital in attempt to see something different than dense commerce.  Here we found another great Aire which had a service point and free electric meaning we did not even need to use our own gas, these small wins these days make me quite happy.  Unfortunately though, as we arrived at the Aire we saw the second motorhome casualty of the day.  A Spanish couple, whilst passing through the entrance barrier, had managed to mount the side bollard, and the damage basically started just after the cab door along the whole right hand side of the van – ouch.  The poor couple were almost hysterical as they had to cause more damage getting the vehicle (which was new) off the bollard which had by now implanted itself into the rear wheel arch.  Needless to say we tried to help, and needless to say Sharon guided me through the quite thin entrance to ensure I did not do the same thing.

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Camperstop at St Julie, Andorra.  Free electric and great back drop……

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