Be warned before following me on this trip. I am well know for sheepish phone calls to friends with landrovers pleading with them to come and rescue me from muddy fields/rocky mountaintops/boggy lakesides/etc/etc.
Turn right at the mini roundabout on the seafront at Banyuls and follow signs to the Col de Banyuls. A sharp climb through the vines from sea level to the Col at 1000 feet up, stop and admire the view below, then plunge over the col and down the other side, the Spanish have even tarmaced the first km or so.
That's the end of the easy bit.
At the bottom, by an isolated farmhouse called Mas Corbere, turn left at a signpost marked St Quirze/Rabos. It is a points like this, when flat tarmac changes into undisguised loose shale and rock, that my partner usualy says something like "do you think this is wise?" or "does the spare tyre have air in it?" to which my standard answer is "isn't that view amazing".
It's only about 15 km up and down to the abbey but wise not to do it much faster that 15 km hour in an ordinary car, well you don't want to bounce straight over the edge do you?. There is a restaurant when you arrive and you don't have to come back the same way. A sand road winds down to the "main" road which leads you back eventually to La Junquera and France, it winds through beautiful countryside, pretty villages and lots of places to buy the local white sparkling wine which is called Cava. Or you can take the coast road, it's tarmac all the way but you've probably had enough "spectacular" by this stage ....
Made it easily on this trip but perhaps one day I really will do the right thing and buy a Landrover....
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