Eye eye! Stage 9

Oh my poor Cyclist. Both his eyes have swollen after that sting including the bridge of his nose. He looks like a Clingon. This morning I could hear his Oh My Gods coming from the bathroom as he took a look. He won’t take any more anti histamine even though the sting on his leg is swollen too. He looked out on the balcony at 7.30am and said that some of the revellers from last night were still going. Really! I looked out too and saw a few young guys with their ties undone and hanging, top shirt buttons undone and some girls in their ball gowns, moving around and sat on a wall below. Oh to be young. I was sent downstairs by the Cyclist to see if breakfast was busy. I’m not sure about busy but it was sure fire noisy. I went back up and persuaded him to go to breakfast promising to sit him away from anyone and to fetch his, so that he could hide his face away and not frighten the locals.

There was a lad asleep on a sofa in reception and rose petals that had been thrown for the couple all over the floor. Most of the revellers had gone from the cafeteria breakfast room, just leaving one older couple and their daughter and one older lady who was obviously partaking in the revelling. She was a large blonde lady squeezed into a pink ball gown and her put up hair was starting to fall out but she was still giving it some in Spanish as there were lots of “tha, tha, tha’s” coming from her!

Breakfast isn’t included in most hotels and as The Cyclist had calculated his approximate cycling time he said we could have it. It wasnt what i expected. It was a warmed flat roll with slices if cheese and ham or peach jam. I told the Cyclist he was welcome to the ham and i would have jam. When i was checking out The Cyclist came charging from outside into reception. He said all the straps that secure the bikes to the carrier had been stolen by the revellers. He ranted for a minute then went back out. I told the chap behind reception and he chuckled and nodded. I said “it’s not funny” and he smiled at me. Obviously he didn’t have a clue what I was saying. Ok. This calls for slow carefully chosen words and some sign language as i wasn’t happy as my Cyclist was clearly upset. These included Auto, bicycles, gone, thief, together with relevant hand movements. Finally. No smile. He said sorry but what could he do. Nothing 🙁

At the car The Cyclist was still ranting but was calmer. He said he did have an extra strap but it was super long but it would have to be wound round and round both to secure. He said he wanted to put it down to a drunken joke rather than pure theft. At least he had reversed the bikes up and into the hedge else the may have had a go at taking the bikes. There was a chap eyeing them up last night. I took a photo of him. The Cyclist set off while I went to fill with fuel and I took the opportunity to wash the windscreen, for if I video through it like yesterday as we nw have two days in the mountains. The Vuelta is like the Giro in that there are 10 cycling days before the rest day. In this heat that is pretty gruelling. Especially with the hills. Tomorrow is the first stage classed as a hard mountain day. What a way to finish the 10 days.

A long the road a Spanish cycling club group invited The Cyclist to join them. He wouldn’t. He said that wouldn’t be solo. As if anyone would know or care for a few miles. The problem was he let them overtake him but then he was waving the bike from side to side like a slalom to slow himself from catching them. He said he hoped they speed up but he wasn’t going to overtake and race as there were mountains today and a killer day tomorrow so he was saving himself. In the end up a big hill the cyclist couldn’t go slow enough so started to pick them off.
A group of three try to chase him down. I offered the slower of the three an apple naked bar, which he took. Then a little way on that one dropped leaving two. Up a hill another one dropped leaving one. The cyclist wasn’t racing he kept saying so kept steady. Last one couldn’t bridge the gap. His head was down and as I overtook I slowed and asked if he spoke English. He was working so hard he couldn’t speak just wagged his finger side to side to say no while panting. It want even that fast. Only bout 25MPH.

We stopped under in an olive grove for shade to do a sandwich for the cyclist. His eyes have swollen more. The Cyclist said there was someone in the trees watching us. Then a short stocky chap appeared from the trees. He was no doubt wondering what we were doing. After seeing that it was a Cyclist and I was trying to do him a sandwich he started chuntering on to the Cyclist in Spanish. Almost immediately The Cyclist said “Kay!” Tell him and show him before slipping past me to the safety and peace of the car. I showed him the Vuelta info downloaded in the kindle and he cottoned on to what we are doing today. He was waving his hands around and kept saying “Cordobra” which is a town we by passed some time ago. Now it was my turn to nod and smile. I haven’t got a flipping clue. In the end he gave up, offered that we could pull inbetween his olive trees for shade then got in his new looking land rover and off he went.

Down the hill I pulled in and there is that smell again. It’s like being in a rubbish tip. I’ve smelly it many times before. It’s revolting. The Cyclist says he smells it most days. It is truly vile.

We finally got to the to mountains of the day. In between the to we had yo go though a town called Alcala La Real. It was a surprising place. As we approached we could see a castle on a hill but most of the towns have been dilapidated and we don’t get close to the town. This town opened to a glorious town square and there were tiny steep roads leafing up to the bottom of the hill where the castle was. Coming out of the town here was a grey view f the castle overlooking he town. The a cyclist and I have commented that we are very surprised at the lack of sights and pretty towns the Vuelta as been through so far. In fact t is like going through the Nevada dessert. I’ve sad that before haven’t I? No I’m not going mad, just there is no other way to describe it.

The final climb was up another deserted road in the middle if mountain nowhere. On the descent I could see a white town way way in the distance nesting at the bottom of a mountain, that from where I was you would wonder who on earth would live there and how the hill would you get there. Well we sure ground out, ending in the town with its very narrow all one way streets. The Cyclist told me to pull up where it looked dead but as on as he started to get the bike on etc it became a major highway and cars had to squeeze past the lit,e Meriva, (which is holding up well as I have mentioned it).

Getting out to the next hotels only 30km away but an hour and a half on tiny mountain roads. Hey ho.

Soundbites:

I believe – Marcella Detroit ( I bet you forgot this one CBR Princess)
I ran – Flock of Seagulls
I wonder – Sixto Rodriguez
I’d love you to want me – Lobo. (Another I bet you’ve forgot.)
I’ve been a bad bad boy – Paul Jones
If I had you – The Corgis (I just love this song)
If that’s ok with you – Shayne Ward (remember him?)

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