Day 48 - Cardona to Andorra La Vella, Andorra
When Grant was planning this trip we all looked at the map to see exactly where he was going. It really is amazing how much geography one really misses out on at school- I thought I knew about all the very small places on the world map but for some reason I thought that Andorra was part of France...well now I know better!
The Principality of Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe, located in the Eastern Pyrenees North of Spain. It occupies a mere 468 square kilometers and has a population under 80000 people. Andorra La Vella is it's capital, the highest one in Europe at 1023 m above sea level.
Amazingly - tourism is it's biggest industry and an estimated 10 million people visit annually. It is not a member of the European Union but has the Euro as it's currency.
So now that we know where Crazybikeguy was going...lets see how he got there!
Leaving Cardona just after 9am, Grant made his way down the hill onto a convoluted route and set off for Andorra in windy conditions, which made the ride tough and dangerous at times through valleys and steep hills.
Passing through Solsona, which was originally one of Grant's layover destinations but because of the change of plan the night before, Grant only had a small amount of time in this picturesque town.
Cycling along the River Segre for most of the route and up past an enormous hydro electric plant and all along a huge dam, through various tunnels and side roads -all policed by off site cameras to monitor who goes through the tunnels that have restricted use, Grant followed an almost straight line into the far North of Spain, entering the Andorran principality without much fanfare through a rather relaxed border post.
A total of 112 km today with 1.3 km of vertical climbing in gusty conditions. Crazybikeguy had a tough time between the windy conditions and the many heavy load bearing trucks on his chosen route, which meant he really had to concentrate knowing that he had to be extra cautious in unusual traffic in this rural environment.
A day of fantastic photographic opportunities with hundreds of photos taken while riding through this beautiful rural part of northern Spain.Riding along the valleys through farmlands and then being surrounded by staggeringly steep rocky mountainous outcrops was just amazing.
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