Col de Mente
With Superbagneres climbed it was a campsite return to recharge my phone, watch and my ever-hungry self.
The Tick-Tock brain was not allowing me to sit back and relax.
“What next, Phil, the hard one or the harder one?”
And so, I fired up the Yaris for the Col de Mente.
Surely this mere 7/10, 10Km tougher one would be no trouble?
You could lose an eye
The temperature was in the 30s as I drove into Saint Beat-Lez.
The road passing through the village was a busy junction for other major routes, so I kept my eye focused for the local car park.
I parked in the town square and looked around.
I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.
In the town, I noticed even more statues. Magnificent as they were, they were not quite so eye-catching.
To educate the illuminate the motorists who missed them, please check the gallery, or stop and look next time. They are well worth it.
Full of (misplaced) bravado after Superbagneres, I took off for the Col de Mente.
“Smoke me a kipper. I’ll be back for breakfast.”, I laughed. ?
This climb was a complete b*st*rd and way, way harder than I nonchalantly expected.
A start of 9% and a gradual rise to 16% over the first 2Km made me scream Flippin’ heck. (It’s Sunday, so language restraint).
The brutal awakening kindly eased to 8% but only briefly before the 12% slice.
There seemed no respite, even the hairpins rarely dropped in gradient.
No heroics, low gear, good cadence, drink plenty and wear blinkers were the orders of the day.
At the 7 Km point, it was hairpin heaven or at least it will be on the way down.
€3 for a coke was worth it
As the summit appeared, it was surprise, surprise.
A large café/restaurant was open, of all things. Yes, open!!
I had my drink bottles, but even at €3 euros, the chance of a cold coke was too much of a temptation to turn down.
On my descent, two car drivers pulled over as I hurtled past them. This indeed was heaven.
That was exhausting, tough, but fun.
I found this climb tougher than Superbagneres.
While enjoying the speciality of the house, it was time to reflect on another exhausting but enjoyable day.
Pyrenees Steak Burger avec chips paired with a fine local IPA.
My appetite was for eating and not cooking.