It is a true statement that bicycle touring can produce some of the most amazing and memorable days, and at the same time inflict some of the most painful and miserable days imaginable.
Fortunately this post is about the former – in five months of riding I am sure we will have opportunity to report on the latter.
In Shoshanna’s last post she pleaded for the head winds to stop – and so they did – which was the beginning of our good fortune. The day started with a flat tire – which is a bad omen for any ride – but once riding we enjoyed some nice shoulders, pleasant temperatures and a gentle breeze. Amaya was singing all her favourite tunes as we rolled into a town called Esplus – which to me sounded more likely to be the name of a petrol station. We did our usual thing and started cooking Amaya’s lunch in the town square while villagers stared at us. Amaya and I played in the park at the adjacent school. We then drank a sneaky coffee while waiting for the lunch to cook. The bartender took a particular liking to Amaya and gifted her some particularly unhealthy potato crisps, which to the dismay of her Papá, she loved!
I got chatting with the ever friendly locals while Amaya grafitied the square with her chalk. Lunch was ready, which we enjoyed on a grassy patch next to some teenagers smoking pot and trying to impress us with their gymnastic prowess (a potentially perilous combination). So while Amaya enjoyed her first passive I wandered back to the bar and chatted some more.
Amanda (who is English but has lived in Spain since she was 19) invited us back to her property to see her horses. We jumped at the opportunity. Amaya was in her element – she didn’t know what to do first – there were dogs and chickens and roosters and a fun garden and fizzy drink!! We sat and enjoyed chatting with Amanda while looking over the beautiful countryside out to the snowcapped Pyrenees.
Amanda’s horses were beautiful and Amaya liked sitting on them (in retrospect). It was time to go, much to Amaya’s dismay. We said sad goodbyes to Amanda and were on our way again. Encounters such as these make cycling worthwhile!
To top the day off we landed an amazing hotel in un pueblito (little village) called Albalate de Cinca. It was one of those moments where I checked the price a few times just to make sure it was true that we were getting 4 star accommodation for 1 star prices.
P.S. For the last three days of riding we have battled significant head winds. Days like the one described above are great, but it is so hard to keep it in our heads that this is actually something we enjoy doing. At the moment it is a grind.
P.P.S. We made the news in Nicaragua which has been quite motivating: http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/news/2013/04/aussies-bike-europe-to-raise-funds-for-nica-health-clinic/7383