Sunday, 11 July 2010

Days 30 to 35

Day 30

Having camped in Sagunt, just north of Valencia, where the team would finally leave this road of death, the team collaborated with team members Harry and James' dad, Father Tony, who met them in the town centre, and took them for a pint. He jovially reminded the team of his warning words, as he had told them that cycling along the coast would soon begin to grate on them. Tony thus directed the team inland toward pastures new, up winding mountain roads with breath-taking views, and almost empty of traffic. Having rented a hire car, tony was able to relieve the team of their Panniers, meaning each member was around 10 kilos lighter. Tony cycled with the team, helping them all the time, whether it was with lunch, their luggage, or a much needed round of cervecas. The team camped their first night with Tony on a dried up riverbed, where they ate chicken and rice with peppers, which was stewed for around three hours. Delicious.

Days 31 to 35

The team, some 40 kilos lighter, were now able to cover up to 130km in a day with relative ease. They travelled south from Betera up and over the mountains and down into Los Pedrones, where Tony treated them to pizza for dinner. They had surreptitiously camped in a field, and left early in the morning to again travel nearly 130km in a day, travelling down from the mountains onto the plains of Spain, which were somewhat beautiful in a strangely barren way. Along the flat the Team and Big T smashed the miles like hot roasted peanuts, but finding a spot to camp proved difficult, and eventually, to the surprise and great pleasure of the team, Daddy T put them up in the Hotel Europa in Albacete, where they showered, ate and rested peacefully. Having had their best night's sleep in a month, the team again travelled an overwhelming distance the following day, finishing in near Generve on the N322. It was he night before team member Tom's birthday, and they camped overlooking a huge valley, where they enjoyed hot stew, cold beer and red wine, and talked of great things, such as the life and death of stars, the apparent infinity of space-time, and the non-existence of negative numbers. It was surely a birthday eve he would never forget. The team continued on the next day, cycling hard and pushing the miles, as this was the last day that they would enjoy with no luggage on the back of their bikes. Tony helped them set up camp, and took them for a couple of beers on a farewell note. After he had gone the team stayed in the bar a while and celebrated Tom's birthday relaxedly, retiring eventually to ther campsite on the edge of the road.

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