Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Cycling from Huddersfield to Gibraltar Day 9.

It's morning, and a nice sleep.. although not ideal food last night for tea apart from my chocky bar. I've packed up my gear and its off downstairs of this place, it must be a hotel although it just seems like a big house with a cafe part downstairs and bar area. I'm in the dining area and I see places set for Breakfast ? Wonder if one of those places is set for me, but last night the lady who booked me in quickly didn't understand that I was asking for food ! Well I will risk it and sit down.. there's a guy at the bar area (Must be that woman who checked me in last night husband)

I say "Bonjour" and he brings me Coffee with Milk ! (Result :-)) then a baguette with butter and jam (Fantastic) I'm tucking into that great.... Just about to finish and the woman appears from last night who checked me in.... "Oh no" I thought! I maybe not allowed to have this breakfast.. but shes OK :-)

I eat everything on my plate and table, and its off to their garage for my bike.. I bring it back to the entrance and start to check the spokes. There are a few that need a tighten.. I try to sort them out then spin the wheel round only to find I have put the wheel out of balance ! (Shit!) Don't panic, think about it Andy lol After a good 10Min's of messing around with the spoke tool I get the wheel back in line (Fluke or what?)

Right, I get the panniers back on the bike, ask the lady for my water bottles to be filled up, shes OK with that, I say "Bye" I'm thinking she will say "Money for Breakfast" but No... I'm out of here. Heading back to the D933.

I'm back on the D933 and heading towards the Spanish border :-) The views are excellent as I near the Pyrenees. I cycle into a place called "Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port" very nice village and the buildings are really nice in these parts. I stop at a cafe for a few Coffees, and they were so good I had three ! I was just sat outside watching the world go by it was Brill!

After a good hour I payed up and was off again towards the border. I'm cycling for around 3 hrs and I see the border (No checkpoint, just a hanging sign and a change from the D933 to the N135 (Weird, I was expecting to get my passport out to show - but no! just cycled straight along the road and into Spain)

"I'm in Spain", "I'm in Spain" I keep saying - Amazed I have made it this far from my house.

After the buzz of making it to the border the climbs start! Up and up, up and up, winding roads, head winds :-( Blimey it's getting tough now) I reach a shop just before it closes for the afternoon.. I get Red bull and water and sandwich's just in time :-) Then its onwards and upwards for seems like forever. Eventually after a lot of sweat I reach the summit church Ibaneta 1057m. Time for a photo or 2 :-)

After this summit its weeeeeeeeeeeeeee......... weeeeeeeeeeeee......... All the way down the other side of the Mountain (Brilliant !) I've never gone down any descents like this before (Switchbacks) what a great experience. I'm on the N135 towards Pamplona the rest of the journey that day was very smooth and ups and downs but nothing too hard. By around 5pm I'm on the edge of Pamplona and think I'm staying here tonight its an early finish for me I reckon, so after cycling into the centre of Pamplona I'm booked in a hotel, washed, changed and kit all sorted for about 7pm.. I'm now off out to sample the centre (Its packed out lots of people in one of the main squares, I look around before choosing a place to eat, I sit and have my well earned Spag bol complete with 3 Beers :-)

Nice stroll back to the hotel after sunset and its bedtime once again (Great day over the Pyrenees today)

Total miles = 71 miles.

Average speed = 11.0 mph.

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