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Published: July 25th 2009
Saturday 25th July - Olot and the lower Pyrenees
Somone upstairs had finally turned the heating down and so I swapped plans and set off on the bike around 10am. It was a deliciously cool 22C and even by midday had only reached mid-twenties. I felt like I had my own personal AC unit. Perfect conditions for riding a bike - especially without full luggage on a range of cols.
What a mega f*cking day! First leg was to ride out to Sant Joan de Abasses - brilliant road, Col de Joubert I think and I yabadaba-dooed out loud in my helmet. Perfect tarmac, excellent bends and stunning views across the Parc de Volcans and further afield to the Pyrenees. The next col, Col de Santiago was possibly the twistiest road I have ridden, it flick-flacked left to right almost incessantly - more flip-flops than TK Max. Then on to Beget, which was a little further out of my planned circular route than I planned but an absolutely delightful place. I wandered round for a while and stopped to have some nosh - an excellent plate of charcuterie. I may have panned Lonely Planet for their pitiful Norway and Austria
guides, but fair dues, the team that put together the Spain guide had done a tip-top job. Finally I set off via Ripol onto the N152 - again an amazing road. It was a biking paradise here. My original plan was to head right up almost to the French border (Puigcerda) before down again to complete a square of the map. I started to tire and mindful of my last full day of Col riding decided to turn back. It had still been a fantastic ride and I lobbed up back at camp around 4 pm, helpfully with all four limbs intact.
Out of kit and into me boardies - I did bring these “hiking” trousers, that zip off at the knee and they were utter sh1te. I ripped them within 5 minutes of wearing them. And so off for a hike around the volcanoes - nothing too arduous, about 3.5 hours.
So a superb day. Now having just posted my previous two blogs over a couple of cervezas and a bifsteak in some wifi bar down the road from the campsite, I am writing today's entry - which I guess will go up tonight as well. It
is about as Spanish a bar as you could find - they don't speak a word of English and Cerveza is about the limit of my Spanish, but they couldn't be more friendly. Cool country.
I booked a ferry ticket home tonight - lets just hope I get there on the right effing day this time. Santander->Plymouth Weds 29th at 9pm. So tomorrow I will head through the Pyrenees and into France, probably staying around Foix. Then I plan to spend a day and night each at San Sebastian and Bilbao (to see the Guggenheim.) But who knows - I may head to the Picos de Europa instead.
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