Fotografia, Natura

Pax Avant. In bici nella pace e il freddo dei Pirenei

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Questa è una bella storia, il racconto fatto di immagini e parole di una giornata trascorsa in bicicletta affrontando in solitudine i freddi tornanti del Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin, un valico di confine che divide Francia e Spagna.

Situato nei Pirenei Occidentali, il colle è famoso anche per essere stato il luogo di incontro dove nel 1375 fu siglato il Pax Avant, che metteva fine ad anni di brutali e sanguinosi combattimenti tra le comunità di entrambe i versanti della montagna.

Trovarsi nel tempo giusto e nel posto giusto, momenti di pace e riflessione, quella pura gioia di essere che solo il ciclismo sa esaltare in questo modo.

I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news. John Muir

” The snow falls and the noise stills. Almost to nothing.
The western Pyrenees are like our own Alpes-Maritimes. They deceive by their proximity to the coast line and lower peak altitudes, which hide hors catégorie climbs of over 20kms in length.

If you manage to pass through the window from the sea to the slopes, on the other side, around now, lies the sweetspot of cold, dry and high.
Alone on a mountain. Deserted by cyclists and yet to succumb to other winter alpinists. All is quiet, all is peace.
The Col de la Pierre Saint-Martin is a border pass that divides France and Spain. And is historic for peace of another kind.

At 11am on 13 July 1375, communities from both sides of the mountain gathered on the Col to declare peace after two years of brutal, bloody, tit-for-tat fighting and murder.
The pact is known as the Pax Avant : so let there be peace.
We all have our own ways of finding peace. For many of us it involves going longer. Or faster. Or higher.

Perhaps the destination we seek is amplified by the effort of reaching it. Because riding solo in the mountains is always comfortably uncomfortable.
Doubts are born on the way, problems confronted, issues resolved. And battles fought.

All to find that peace.
That moment of reflection. That pure joy of being. That right place, right time. That sense of perspective it allows, that sense of achievement it brings.
The Pax Avant still lives on these slopes. It stands to this day. Six hundred and forty two years after it was first proclaimed.

And just for a precious few hours, we who after all are but strangers in this house, shared in its bounty.
Will you go in search ? Will you dance upon the snow? “.

Dalla Gazzette di Café du Cycliste.


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Fonte: Foto: Antton Miettinen