2015-07-17 Lourdes – Montrejeau

Today’s photo shows a sign for the Tourmalet in Bagneres-de-Bigorre with the Pic du Midi on the top of the Tourmalet in the background.

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Total today – 60 km. Total so far – 1085 km. After 3 days rest in Lourdes at the Croix de Malte hotel, it was time to hit the road again. I had 7 days to travel 800 km to make it to Grenoble in time for the Alpine stages of the Tour de France.

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Some souvenirs bought at La Fabrique shop in Lourdes. I had accumulated about €15 in loose change and as it was quite heavy, I decided to spend it on some momentos. There was a souvenir shop right beside my hotel so I bought a thermometer, cup, snow globe and some postcards. Everything was carefully wrapped up for you at the check-out and I was even given a free set of rosary beads. I am sorry I didn’t have more change as I would have spent even more as everything was reasonably priced.

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Funiculaire de Pic du Jer. I got a bit lost leaving Lourdes and ended up going past the Funiculaire de Pic du Jer. This mountain railway is just over 1 km long and climbs nearly 500m from Lourdes to the top of the Pic du Jer. It was opened in 1900 and was run by the company that built the line until 1986 when control passed to the local council. It costs €10 to get the train to the top and another €3 to visit a cave at the summit.

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D937 road at the outskirts of Lourdes. I eventually found the right road for Bagneres-de-Bigorre and got going.

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House with an arch in Trebons beside the Gaillestre river. There was a small park beside the river in Trebons, so it was an ideal place to have some lunch.

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Cima Coppi on this year’s Tour de Travoy. My route today was the same as used by Stage 11 of the Tour de France on Wednesday between Lourdes (km 35) and the Cote de Mauvezin (km 75). In the Giro d’Italia, the first rider to cross the highest point in the Giro gets a special prize called the Cima Coppi, named after Fausto Coppi, the famous Italian cyclist. Well, the Cima Coppi on this year’s Tour de Travoy was today at the top of the Cote de Bagneres-de-Bigorre (644m). Interestingly, I found this Cat 4 climb much tougher than the Cat 3 Cote de Loucrop and Cat 3 Cote de Mauvezin because of all the traffic, which obviously isn’t a factor in the Tour de France.

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Chateau de Mauvezin. At the top of the Cote de Mauvezin lies the Chateau de Mauvezin, which was originally built 700 years ago and is now being restored. The photos below show a huge cross-bow, which was used to defend the castle, a cage, in which those people convicted of murder were left to die, and a crane, which was used to supply the chateau’s tower.

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Casino Le Mirage near Capvern. No it is not a mirage. Near Capvern, I came across the Casino Le Mirage beside the motorway from Toulouse. The reviews on Tripadvisor are the worst I have ever seen for a hotel. One review says “Hotel dilapidated, dirty and unhealthy. Everything is old without having been renovated, but the room price is still 63 euros … ultimate scam!”


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Camping Couleurs Garonne in Montrejeau. From Lannemezan, it was all downhill to my campsite for the night at Montrejeau. After reading the reviews for the Hotel le Mirage, I am glad I stayed the night at the Camping Couleurs Garonne.

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