Estany de Montcortes s(u)

The main attraction of this summit is not the summit itself. Neither is it reflected anywhere in the name, and it came as a complete surprise to me. Nor was anybody else around to either share or deflect from my enjoyment of this place while I was there. It seems to be one of the more out of the way places in the Pyrenean foothills, at least in the month of May: the old village Peramea.

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,0740m) START-END WEST: Sentarada
2.(03.4km,0810m)profile turns hard right onto a yes smaller road
3.(08.9km,1050m)Montcortes
4.(07.9km,1070m)TOP: Estany de Montcortes s(u)
5.(15.9km,0900m)Peramea
6.(20.5km,0600m) START-END EAST: Gerri de la Sal
 Peramea         copyright: Panoramio;  lluiscanyet  piclink

Approaches

From West.
From Senterada sleepy L503 follows up the valley of the El Flamisell to a National Park in the Pyrenees. Following the main road this is an out and back road, but with this little summit it becomes a loop ride. The road passes by La Pobleta de Bellvei, which is just a group of relatively new houses, grouped loosely around - this time not a church, but an electical transmission facility - even though a church is of course located nearby in the picture.

In this village a tiny road, that looks like a driveway between two hedges heads to Montcortes. The road climbs on dry slopes, following every single contour of the landscape, no roadcuts whatsoever on this little path. It's a fairly undistinctive group of rolling hills with brush forest, that makes up this scenery, but in the distance is a peculiar knob, that I recognize on the Panoramio pictures, and also remember in nature.

Climbing onto a rolling plateau, the road reaches a sedate vacation lake. Curiously this lake is the top, even if -at first view, it remains a mystery where the water flows down from. This is the Estany de Montcortes. The roads to the right here all dead end. But staying left, the profile goes just a few meters higher, just after passing by the couple of old farmhouses that make up the village Montcortes

From East. (described downwards). But all the good stuff on this ride is still to come on this descend. Peramea first shows up much like in one of the photographs in the slide show. I took quite a bit of time to find the perfect vantage point on this row of houses myself. But it is possible that the very nicely composed slideshow pictures were taken a small distance away from the profiled road. In any case the scene is similar.

The road crosses perpendicular to the little ridge that Peramea sits on, and crosses it as the narrowest spot, much like a miniature pass by itself. I don't remember having seen more than maybe four cars up to this point, and walking through the village was another experience where I could enjoy more absence of tourists. A series of tiles on the water fountain greet the visitor. The axis of the town is quickly walked, and I recognize all the scenes from the photographs. There is just one really scene that I cannot find anywhere. On the north end of the village a small cliff abruptly terminates the village. Between here and the next cliff on the other side. Down below a group of cattle foraging in the dirt separate the village from a walled in cemetery. It is the strangest cemetery I have ever seen. It seems like you would have to wade through a yard of cow manure in order to visit a grave. But maybe there is a hidden entrance in the back somewhere.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

A Dayride with this point as intermediate summit is on page: Collado de Creu de Perves