Our day in Castro-Urdailes was very nice. A later start than normal, nice breakfast followed by a walk along the promenade to the old town and the castle. At breakfast there was a big juicing machine with a basket of fresh oranges at the top and a wheel with three orange squeezers behind glass so you could watch your juice being made as it happened. The Cyclist loves things like this and didn’t fill his juice glass so he could keep going up and have another go watching it make his juice. Pity he can’t do every ones juice as it would keep him quiet for hours. After we had our walk I did him a sandwich and he drove me to Carrefore for my final visit of the year and so I could pick up cakes etc to take into work. I also got some gin but I will leave you to guess whom that was for.
And what have we learned from our complete lap and a bit more of Spain:
– Spanish Don’t cross white lines in the middle of the road. Ever. They will sit behind me or the cyclist until the lines break. Even if you go really slowly and there is absolutely nothing coming the other way. I often pulled off the road or turned right just to put them out of their misery. With the right turns Immediately turned so I was waiting to turn back out of the junction.
– The Spanish don’t indicate at all especially at islands. It is quite annoying and confusing. This is not something for one particular area in Spain. They all do it. The problem is the next thing we learned…..
– They Like to honk their car horns and are very impatient drivers. This is most noticeable at islands. I stop at an island and do not just pull onto it like they do. I wait to make sure that there isn’t a car coming round across my path. The cars behind get impatient and honk their horns but I am trying to avoid an accident or near miss. This issue is that 99% of the time the cars coming around the island turn down the road you are pulling out of and you could have gone yourself. But you have no idea of what they are going to do as here are no indicators used. I did pull out once as a woman swung as if to go down my road but at the last minute swung back to carry on around the island. I had begun to pull out so she had to get it around the nose of the Meriva. She waved her arms at me angrily as she went past. This was stage 19 and was the first of the two rainy mountain days. I had got soaked doing the setting off pictures and was fed up as it ruined what could have been lovely photos so this I sensed me more than it may have at other times. That’s it. I cracked. I pulled out shouting in the cocoon of the Meriva at the top of my voice, using things like Stupid Cow and other far worse expletives. Basically all coming to the fact that if you don’t I dictate then what do you expect!!
– The Spanish don’t like 40mph and they drive much faster ignoring speed limits totally.
– They have police doing random morning stops but not as many as Italy.
– The terrain is very different for just one country. We spent most of it at <1000m and we saw baron plains, blue seas, mountains both rocky and like Wales, forests, green wet parts like UK and nothing for miles and miles and miles.
– It is extremely mountainous, much more than you would expect. Eg a ski resort 40miles north of Madrid in its inland and hot part. In fact that is one of the things that the Cyclist has come away with. Just how mountainous and high Spain is.
– That doing three full Grand Tours in one season is a hard thing to do and takes all the stuffing out of you. The Cyclist now says from experience that its not really possible for the pro cyclists to race all three. That’s why only a small handful have ever done it. But what a thing to do, especially solo.
I will leave you with that thought. I hope you enjoyed the photos and our adventure. Until the next one when and what ever that may be……..
This blog is dedicated to MM_Scimitar who has become very ill during the tour of Spain. I know he has enjoyed Nanakatz reading him my blog of our adventures and that he thinks the Cyclist must have a screw loose to have taken this on.
Love you dad. This is for you. Xx