Aragon/Pyrenees: A-1064 to Boltaña

This ride has got to be one of the stars of the whole Pyrenees. The route runs west east between the highest ridges of the Pyrenees ‘proper’ and the Sierra de Guara, one of the most beautiful of the Pre-Pyrenean ranges. Starting in a lovely valley of the river Guarga the route slowly rises away from its riverside origins and passes over a ‘plateau’ on the watershed before plunging back down to the valley of the Rio Cinco, near Ainsa, having peaked at the Puerto de Sarrablo (1291m).

A few notes:

  • I find it much better to go west east as the visibility is limited by the cliffs that overhang much of the road coming the other way. You also have much better views over the high Pyrenees as you reach the top – on the other hand the east-west route gives you better views over the Sierra de Guara – best to go there and back again!
  • The whole ride has you jumping around the middle gears to keep the kettle boiling – exacting riding at best!
  • Only one villages lies on the route itself, but the frist time I did the run there were stray cows on the road there – and the last time stray donkeys!
  • Off road riders can take a detour into the Sierra de Guyara zone from this route – one of the few into this Reserva Natural – to the village of Nocito: take a turn south ver the river at Molina de Vilobas. From Nocito you can continue west, also off road and rejoin the original Nacional highway (see below) at the southern portal of the old tunnel, now bricked up, west of Belsue, joining the ‘new’ Nacional at Arquis after a somewhat dizzying drop!
  • The only down side to the ride is the access to its western portal, which is via the horrible N330 Huesca- Sabiñánigo highway – which as I write (April 2011) is in the process of being turned into an Autovia. Bearing this in mind

This short video clip is of the beginning of the west-east run. Then there is series of five video clips that go the other way – strangely taken backwards from the pillion! This rider has disabled the embed code – not surprising given what s/he’s up to!

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