I’ve had a pretty adventurous life for a blue shark- everything from participating in International fisheries meetings in Paris last year to narrowly escaping a hook from a swordfish longline. But getting on a bicycle in Gijon, Spain, and hitting the long road to London, England has to be the wildest experience yet!
Cycling does not come naturally to me, as you can well imagine, but I had to get my fins under me quick since the hills started right away. Big hills, too! But I’m proud to say that on day one of my bike trip, I managed 85 kilometers, including climbing up a 1200 foot mountain! My two Canadian biking companions were suitably impressed.
The Asturian countryside is beautiful, hilly and full of apple orchards for making the drink of the region, called Sidra. Those apples- and, let’s be honest, a drink or two of the bubbly, delicious cider- fuelled our journey. And we definitely needed it to get over our first big mountain pass – the Cordillera de Suave- an incredible 9 -12 percent climb for 10 kilometers. Ouch!
I racked up another 92 kilometers on our second day, including more arduous hills! As we said adiós to Asturias province and hola to Cantabria, I finally caught sight of the ocean. Seeing the coast reminds me how much I miss my ocean friends- but also of why I need to bring our message about the importance of protecting sharks and sea turtles to the Marine Stewardship Council.
Take note, Friends of Hector! I’ve always been handsome, but my fins are going to be SUPER buff after this!