We pressed on through the Pyrenees, climbing higher while falling ever southward through Ax-le-Thermes and Merens-les-Vals. Smoothing our way, fast but safe on the Blackbird, we continued along La Fuillatere, the E9 ridge, before pausing briefly at Porte-Puymorens to take in the views.
I say "the views", but it was the road that excited me the most! This was a new route for us and, as ever, the excitement I felt looking at that twisting, turning, rising and falling causeway became unsurprisingly difficult to contain. (I can feel it now and, yes, I'm grinning like a schoolboy who's just got his first bike!)
I grinned at Lorraine, too, and then we were gone! Not directly to the next hotel, though: we were on our way to the circuit at Montmelo to catch some of the first day's free practice sessions; we were on our way to settle into the seats we'd occupied regularly through the years and we were just two and a half hours from our destination. It all felt like a bit of a homecoming!
Well, it was a homecoming but it wasn't going to be in two and a half hours! We were about forty minutes away from the track when the hills began to beckon. As I wrote earlier, this was a new route, and it was great fun for us, but fun makes you greedy - greedy for more!
Over the Sena, I called to Lorraine "Look up there! We've never been up there, have we?" "No, we've not." came the reply. Obviously, we were on the move, but I was already looking ahead to the next road sign - it was perfect! "We can turn left and go that way!" I said, "Shall we?" "Yes, it looks good!"
It was more than "good" - it was the wildest, feistiest, twistiest ride on the planet! The N260 took us to Barcelona via Dorria, Planoles, Ribes de Fresser and Ripoll before morphing into the C-17 which, in turn, sped us to the circuit in next to no time.
And to think that for years we were blissfully unaware of that brilliant road, only to discover it purely by chance!