Hills are a state of mind, said a wise land friend

Fri, January 20, 2012

After a week of cycling in Spain, it is time to bid a fond adios!

First of all- you know I know little about the world of bicycles, but my land friends have been raving about Euro cycling culture. Apparently, the road surfaces are great, the paths and infrastructure for cycling are very well-thought out, and the drivers impressively courteous? I would feel much more comfortable, say, cruising the gulf stream, but such is my mission to convince the Marine Stewardship Council of the need to protect sharks and turtles, and to be honest with seafood lovers.

Our start in Asturias was wonderful. It is called the ‘Green Province’ for a reason. (See below for an ode to the apple orchards as we biked.) Beautiful! There were so many mountains but the views throughout and around the Picos de Europa were always worth the climb.

ramon!

While we have been blessed with unusually warm and sunny weather for the season, unfortunately, not every day of cycling can be beautiful. We slogged it through many kilometers of industry, overpasses and construction. Thanks to the amazing Ramon, a fellow two-wheel fan, we made our way through 30 kilometers of urban craziness.

We had to say goodbye to our cycling friend Jamie in Bilbao, but his words of wisdom rang in my ears the next day of tackling the ups and downs- ‘Hills are mostly in your mind – when you see one you just go up.’ Up them I went, but I certainly felt them in my fins more than my head!

The climbs to San Sebastian were epic, but well worth it – absolutely stunning coastline. We pulled into the city near dark and into the craziness of what is, apparently, a typical Saturday night. There were only a few beds left in the whole city so we were happy to find beds in a dorm, though thy were perched right on top of a disco! I thought briefly of taking in the nightlife; but my fins were weary after 90 km on the pedals!

All that remained was the trek to the border, made easier by inter-city bike ways.Since my Acadian fishy friends in Nova Scotia have taught me some bon mots, we hope to get lost less often in France -it turns out my ability to navigate using the earth’s magnetic field does not work so well above the waves!

Some Stats... Total kilometers – 520 ; Total elevation climbed – Neptune knows! At least 2000m…

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