To Castro Udallies 103km
To Santander 64km
To Llanes 95km
Every day, I'm still challenged. The last few days have been cold, wet and windy. I seem to be going up hill about 75% of the time (Spain is hilly). My knees are sore, and I've bruised my tailbone, so the only thing I can sit on in comfort, is my bike seat. And while all this is happening, you notice different stuff. I bet you've never noticed that "Motorways" seem to go flat and straight. On the "passage for bicylettes", I seem to be often looking down on the motorway, as it screams across the valley, and then punches through a tunnel beneath the mountain, or up at it, as it flys across the inlet, river or gorge, on 30m high concrete supports, while I skirt around the bay, up the valley to a tiny bridge, and begin the climb over the ridge.......
Another thing that's bugging me is that Spain has changed its clocks to European Summertime, and NZ has changed from Daylight Saving time, and I can't work out what the time difference is between them. And as a result, I'm finding it hard to chat to Juliet, when one of us is not meant to be sleeping, or she's not driving around in an Ambulance, or flying around in helicopters. Grrrr.
And then the "Opening" hours of Spanish shops..... it's doing my head in....... Saturday and Sunday are the worst. The only way I know it's weekend, is that there are so many more groups of cyclists out on the road. Then I realise I haven't got enough food, and am nowhere near a shop or supermarket. When I finish cycling for the day, normally about 4pm, I'm hungry. But nothing is open, except a few bars..... but they don't sell food, only cocktails. Resturant kitchens open at about 8pm...... way too late for my grumbling tummy, and supermarkets open around six thirty.....maybe. But not on Sunday, and often, not on Saturday..... And breakfast is served in some hotels, hostels, and bars/cafes, but it's all crossiants and sweet chocolate pastries, not really the energy food I need before six or seven hours cycling. Grrrr
But at least I'm not walking. I'm meeting heaps of people, from all over the world, Japan, Korea, USA, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain..... walking the 800km of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient Pilgrims route across Europe to the shrine of St someone....... Apparently there are several routes, I'm following the coastal northern route, and thousands walk it every year. The only sensible group I've met, are a group from Southern Spain, who are mountain biking the northern route. I've tried a couple of sections, which were pretty nice, but three times I've ended up on very rough rocky, muddy or sandy trails, so aren't bothering any more, just following the roads that run parallel. Yikes, there are some crazies. Who'd walk 800km with a heavy pack?
But there has been a highlight this week. I've reached the Bay of Biscay......which is really the Atlantic Ocean. Wooohoooo. I can't believe it. I've cycled west from Hanmer Springs to the Atlantic Ocean. I'm pretty chuffed with that, and there are some beautiful bays and seaside villages to pass through..... and climb out of.