The RAW Stories meets Andorra

One of the goals of this project is re-discover places that we know but we didn’t have the opportunity to explore with our bikes. A lot of awesome places are waiting for you.

Some weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit Andorra with our gravel bikes. We have visited this small country a lot of times but for skiing or ride our road bikes but never as this time.

We chose the Park Piolets Mountain Hotel as the base camp for those three days. They are located in Soldeu, close to France borderline and they are bike-friendly, a perfect option for us.

For this adventure, we had as a special guest, Kike from Sundays Cycling Club. He wants to involve people on his project where he promotes a lifestyle full of sports, good life, and magic moments.

DAY 1. Cortals loop

(47km / 2.021m+)
https://www.strava.com/activities/1835078191

Sometimes, find gravel routes in places where you are surrounded by very high mountains is not a task so easy.

Our routes are 60% planned by us, based on information from the internet, and 40% of improvisation during the day. You have the risk of finding some impediments or difficulties but it’s part of the game.

We started the route going to Engolasters Lake, a quiet and beautiful place with some gravel paths and really nice views of the valley.

Our first destination was Cortals d’Encamp.

This place can be so hard as wonderful but arrive until the top, although, you have to push your bike and walk in some places, that’s completely awesome.

From the top of Cortals you arrive at El Tarter ski station and the other side of the mountain.

We had a perfect weather and we could enjoy the views of this part of the Pyrenees. In love with Andorra.

The pain had been finished and now was time to go faster downhill to Hotel.

DAY 2. Ordino-Arcalís climb

(36km / 1.014m+)
https://www.strava.com/activities/1837685917

After our first night at Park Piolets resting as kings, the day became in a new adventure.

The menu for the Day 2 was climbing to the famous Ordino-Arcalís pass in a mix of tracks of gravel and road.

We had to cross some villages and single-tracks, but the track started to be harder and harder and finally, we had to use the main road to reach the top.

Once at the top of this magic mountain, it was cold and we took a quick coffee to keep us hot and prepare the downhill.

Some awesome gravel roads were calling us, they wanted to be ridden by our horses! We did it and enjoyed a lot!

DAY 3. Os de Civís and Coll de la Botella

(38km / 1.448m+)
https://www.strava.com/activities/1839850216

It was the third day at this cycling paradise.

We had an incredible breakfast, as every day, and we were really motivated to burn a new day with our bikes but… we were not aware of a big nightmare was waiting for us at the beginning of the track.

We were going to “La Collada de Montaner” but, only a few kilometers after started riding, we arrived at “el Riu Sec” a walking path made it by the real devil.

After 50 minutes dragging our bikes, finally, we crossed the natural borderline between Andorra and Spain and we arrived at the top of “la Collada de Montaner”. Definitely, it was not a good option for gravel bikes.

We had a short but technical downhill during the firsts meters, and after that, a beautiful valley said hello to us as a reward for this painful “breakfast” that we had.

That hard morning forced us to spend a lot of time and energy, and we stopped at “Os de Civís” to eat something and prepare the go back.

The second part of the track was amazing, in spite of some small part where we had to walk a few meters, but, anyway it was a really nice path.


SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS FROM PARK PIOLETS MOUNTAIN HOTEL
We had three awesome days full of adventures but, from another side, we stayed in that cozy and comfortable hotel.
They are fans of all mountain sports and they love cycling, for that reason, they are working to have one of the best cycling rooms in the country to have your bike safe meanwhile you enjoy and rest.
It was perfect to use it as the base camp during those days and we are sure that soon will be back.
www.parkpiolets.com