When it all goes right!

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 would take a tractor lane over a bicycle lane any day.

I would take a tractor lane over a bicycle lane any day.

Amaya and I having a sneaky coffee - we are educating the Spanish about the joys of babycinos. It is always confusing for the bartender when I explain all I want is the froth.

Amaya and I having a sneaky coffee – we are educating the Spanish about the joys of babycinos. It is always confusing for the bartender when I explain all I want is the froth.

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.

Riding up Amanda's driveway with her awesome Spanish villa in the background.

Riding up Amanda’s driveway with her awesome Spanish villa in the background.

Amaya in her element!

Amaya in her element!

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!

Amaya with Oro - an Andalusian thoroughbred

Amaya with Oro – an Andalusian thoroughbred

She was not super happy to be on the horse but she talked about it positively afterwards: "fun riding the horse!"

She was not super happy to be on the horse but she talked about it positively afterwards: “fun riding the horse!”

Ready to leave Amanda's villa.

Ready to leave Amanda’s villa.

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

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7 thoughts on “When it all goes right!

  1. I got eight punctures within two kilometres in Dubbo. The eventual solution was thorn proof tubes and a green slime that you put inside the tube. Go the slime I reckon if you wish to avoid any punctures. Awesome product.

    • That sucks – did you have any spare tubes or did you have to stop and repair every 200m or so? Yeah I have some thorn proof tyres on. Haven’t tried the slime though.

      • Foolishly only cared one spare for the adult bikes and the spares for the Burley were the wrong size. Patched them up and rode to what I thought was a bike store. It was a motorbike store. Discovered more thorns in the tyres of the Burley. Rode bike back to caravan park, drove car to bike store etc.

        It took 6 hours to get from the caravan park to the Zoo. A 4km journey.

  2. you guys are the greatest. fact.

    thanks for linking through to the article – favourite quote definitely has to be “the family rides their custom-built Surly bikes 60-70 kilometers a day, with Amaya settled happily in a Burley D’lite baby trailer, where she sings songs, reads, sleeps and looks out the window.” adorableness.

    really hoping that the headwinds give you a break soon!
    miss you very much x

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