Oddly I woke up about half an hour before the alarm and mused about the next few days. I´d phoned yesterday evening with the friend with whom I´d been intending to meet up somewhere near Barcelona but as things had worked out he was very busy and more or less on-call until the end of the month so basically we decided to move plans on until next Easter. This made planning a bit less complicated for the next few days, now, as I´d come down all this way to see the Pyrenees I was damn well going to see some of it/them. A quick look outside and a consultation with the very useful “windy.com” app suggested that the weather would be ok to good more to the atlantic side as an easterly weather system was messing up the French mediterranean side. First priorities now shower then breakfast, the breakfast was good spanish hotel standard and I managed to bag the last bit of the tortilla. The coffee machine worked once I´d sussed out how the filter swap bit worked but an old couple did spend a long time fiddling with it, I tried to help in Spanish but they were determined to do it themselves. Three croissants later and with two cake-like things stashed for later I finished my third coffe and was feeling ready to tackle the day. Flicking through the news app I realised it was world strike 4 climate day. It occured to me and reminded me of breakfast in an American mid-west hotel how much packaging waste is incurred with a hotel breakfast, I felt bad and arranged my packaging waste in an orderly way on my plate (normal reusable) so it didn´t look quite so messy.
I was in good time so decided to pack up quickly and retrieved my dryed camping things from the cellar and paid up. I was packed, ready and off by quarter to ten. First destination was Biescas, the road went through Aragon countryside, quite dry, tremendous roads and decent asphalt. I noticed that there were a lot of abandoned houses and buildings. I was running a bit low on petrol by the time I got to Biescas so was relieved that Repsol wasn´t on strike. After fill-up I reset to Laruns (France) and set off up along the reservoirs and then up towards the col. The last part took me through several ski areas and it has to be said that that ski resorts are a real scar on the mountains in summer. After the col at portalet (photos below) I dropped down towards Laruns then up again over to the col d´aubisque (second gallery below), again glorious roads and I was very grateful to the universe to be able to see the Pyrenees, enjoy the views and enjoy the roads, what an amazing world we are priviledged to live in.
I was thinking quite a lot during the day about the oddness of spending strike4climate or Global Climate Action day on a motorbike in the Pyrenees. Once the initial unease had passed I began to think that actually it wasn´t that bad a way to spend it, as I see it, the central challenge of dealing with climate change is to find a way to look after the planet better (a lot better) within a society which has got used to mobility and, at least in short to middle term, needs mobility. We need to think more about the miles we do, do we need regulation and how much can be achieved in the longer term with education and climate awareness. Climate change appears to be fairly urgent so we are going to need changes sooner rather than later and I think that regulation will become unavoidable. I am also convinced that education and awareness for the whole population is essential to avoid the issue of climate change leading to a split in society. It will also need the nations of the world to work together in a way that is currently difficult to believe possible.
After that I pottered on towards Lourdes enjoying being slow. I decided to camp in Lourdes and have a look at the place tomorrow morning (another morning culture blitz). So have now set up camp here, wifi is available but is on a par with semaphore or heliographs so uploading anything larger than text seems pointless, I will upload pictures asap.