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Puerto de Cotefablo

... Another pass running parallel to the main ridge of the Pyrenees. But this one turns out to be different than the ones further west. Probably because of the closeness of a French border crossing, this road has heavier traffic, and no shoulder. It is still perfectly manageable, but not nearly as peaceful as the previous passes on this tour. The top is a tunnel and most of the views are on the west side.

I have used the pictures of panoramio and flickr contributors, as well as other web sites to illustrate this page. There are copyright notices and links  to all original pictures. My own pictures were on a computer, that was stolen at the train station Frankfurt Airport (model Acer Aspire One (serial# NUSGPAA01625101C947600F)


1.(00.0km,0870m) START-END EAST:Biescas
2.(08.1km,1090m)turnoff to Yesero on right
3.(13.3km,1423m)tunnel entrance, west side
4.(14.0km,1410m)tunnel entrance, east side
5.(18.0km,1230m)Linas de Broto
6.(26.7km,0900m)START-END WEST:Broto


From East.
The profile starts in the deep U shaped Valley of the Rio Gallego in Biescas. It is a weekend in the spring and many tourists from nearby France wander the streets. I am not the only one shopping for Salami, pane and other basic grocieries. But at this particular point in time the two groceries in town are not very interested in selling it.

The road climbs quickly along a low forested slope. Yesero appears as a lip of house surrounded by wet leaves. It is starting to rain. At one point the curves in the road lead in a direction, heading straight for the snowy main ridge of the Pyrenees. The real mountains make a short appearance framed by leaves. A scene like this is in the slide show below, where the foreground is an unpaved side road.

Climbing further and looking ahead at the deep green cuts in the landscape, it is impossible to figure out where the pass could be. That is because it is located at a 683m long tunnel, and comes up completely unexpectedly.

 copyright: Panoramio;   Jesus Chicharro    piclink

From West. On this side of the curved tunnel there are a few picnic tables and a derelict parking lot, that serves as  trailhead to walk above treeline from here. On this side also, the road makes a big swerve in direction mountains. The resulting scenic spot is accentuated by an old church, the Linas de Broto. Much of the current building is from the 16th century. But the first church at this location goes back to medieval times. It often surprises me in Spain to find large churches in a great mountain environment, but hardly a town nearby, that could fill the church. The current town "Linas de Broto" has about 59 inhabitants. It takes some time to find a good spot for a photograph without power lines. The photographers of the included pictures have all been very skillful to avoid them also. The weather on those pictures is also better than what I experienced. The descent to Broto leads along forested curves that are a sort of viewing balcony on the rounded foothills below and their clusters of towns.
Finally at the bottom, Broto is a heavily visited tourist town with an exquisite view from the bridge over the Rio Ara, up into the mountains.

Historical Notes

The Tunnel was build in 1935, and was almost dynamited during the Civil, wich came just a little later

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

A Day on a Tour with this point as highest summit:

( < Alto de Zuriza s(u) | Buerba/ Vio s(u) > )
Puerto de Cotefablo , Alto de Fanlo s(u) , Buerba/ Vio s(u) : Jaca > N330 west > N260A north > Biescas > Puerto de Cotefablo > Broto > Fanlo s(u) > Buerba/ Vio s(u) > Labuerda > Ainsa with detours around town (r5:16.4.5)
Notes: gps data on stolen computer

Copyright: Panoramio member: tmj2007     piclink