Monastario San Juan de la Pena s(u)
It's not a pass, not even an Alto,
But it turned out to be the highest and most
interesting part of my route over Puerto
de Oroel. There are two monasteries along
the way, and the scenery is a happening thing
further down on the northern side.
SOUTH:Triste on shore of Embalse de la
Pena, Rio Gallego
2.START-END SOUTH ALT:jct with route to
3.TOP:Monastario San Juan de la Pena s(u)
4.Santa Cruz de la Seros
5.START-END NORTH:jct N240 Hu-V-2301, not
far from Rio Aragon
From South: A1205 leaves
the river Gallegos and climbs to Bernues, a
picturesque collection of old houses around a
church. At the exit of the village, A1205
continues to Puerto Oroel. But
the profile continues on A1603. An ever so gentle
traverse follows up the maze of green aunt hills.
Whenever you think you reach a summit, there is
another one just a little higher, around the bend.
The turnoff to Botaya is one of
those summt-appearance points, until you actually
get there. By this time the road traverses the
highest ridge, flanking the valley of the Rio
Aragon, the main ridge of the Pyrenees forms an
imposing backdrop behind the valley.
Before reaching the actual top the
road enters a forest and heads straight for the
facade of a hermitage in the forest. The
Monastario San Juan de la Pena is the highest
point, though you would not have guessed it from
the deep forest surrounding it.The building itself
strikes me as having a little bit of an
institutional look, with a made-for-movies-like
facade attached to one end.
From North. But
this is the interesting side from a scenery
pespective. It is not just the backdrop of the
Pyrenees across the valley, but also the best
distant views of Monte Oroel, which looks like the
stereotypical view fo the Titanic sinking fast.
The second monastery looks maybe a
bit more intriguing, at least to an average
tourist like myself. It is a smaller structure
built into an alcove.
Back on the bike, the road makes a
large U turn traverse inside a low hanging valley
with great views downvalley.It is a fast descend.
Another village on the way down is worth a look:
Santa Cruz de la Seros
cLiCk on image , arrows ,
or thumbnails to advance slideshow
Dayride with this point as
( < Col
St Pierre Martin
| Alto de Zuriza
Mon San Juan de la Pena s(u) , Puerto
de Oroel :
just north of Jaca >
A1205 south <> out and back a few km beyond
Parador de Oroel >> Puerto de Oroel >
A1603 north > Mon San Juan de la Pena s(u) >
Cruz de la Serra < N240 east back to starting
point north of Jaca : 43.4miles with 3990ft of
climbing in 4:22hrs (garmin etrex30 r5:22.10.18).
Notes: the day also included a hike to the top
of Pico Oroel: hike+bike: 48.3miles with
5800ft of climbing in 6:01hrs