Coasts and Cols Tour - Day 6 - 'Descent Out Of The Pyrenees'

After yesterday's brutal finish, today was set to be an easier day. A day for heading down and out of the mountains; as I made my way to the Corbieres, and my rest day base with my good friends, the Farmers.

Last night's camp turned out to be only a kilometre or so from the top of the Col Portet d'Aspet; so despite a chilly start, it was just a short climb before I ticked off the first of my mountains for the day.

Then the descending began. It seemed to be downhill for hours, thankfully. By 11am, I had racked up 75km already, and made it to Foix. I stopped for coffee and pastries; planning the route out towards Carcassonne.

I didn't quite do my original route over the last few days; due partly to the weather, but also a pair of faltering legs. As a result, today wasn't quite the route it was going to be, either; I am effectively missing off the last two cols of the tour. It would however still be a tough 200km, on tired legs.

Foix to Lavelanet. Lavelanet to Espéraza. Now, I was properly out of the Pyrenean landscape, and into the more arid and warm domain of the Corbieres.

There were still a few cols to conquer before I made my end point for the day. Accompanied by a strong tailwind, sunshine, and the promise of a long shower at the end though, it was that much easier.

By 18:00, with 190km on the clock, I rolled to a stop at the top of my final climb. I let out a sigh of relief, as I looked out over the Corbieres in the setting sun. Then, I rolled down the hill; through the vineyards, and in time for a superb dinner with Augustus and Sarah Farmer.

Part 1 of the 'Coasts and Cols' is complete. It's been quite a ride. Tomorrow, I rest the legs; ahead of my return northwards.

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