Fresh as, this morn thanks to the undisturbed five hours kip that some thoughtful hotel guests deemed acceptable. Bless them, hah-hah!
I reckon I know how Bela Lugosi felt, hah-hah!
No matter, or breakfast and it was out to get out of Girona unscathed and the first mission was to get through Barcelona, 60 miles away. Well actually the first mission was to get some food!
Repsol are now my service station of choice. I'll be looking for an endorsement deal similar to my one with McDs.
The PGA Catalunya course looked immaculate.
This was the service road that shadows the Autovia: these guys were sweeping the cycle lane and got a thumbs-up from me as I passed. Toot of the horn in reply...excellent, hah-hah!
As ever, I was getting ever-so-slightly mixed messages from Google an' that about the best route: suffice to say that *someone* may have spent a little time on an Autovia, before scarpering...
Ironically, it was the safest road that I was on today- although I oughta make clear that 99.995% of drivers do their utmost to adhere to the 1.5m clearance idea. Nice one France y Espana!
Makes a change from the usual grey, right?
Post-Autovia shenanigans saw more 'suitable' roads. No fun!
I ain't too proud to admit that I drafted this bloke for a good 3 miles. I had a mind to ask him how much to the coast!
You'd think getting to Barca would be easy enough: in a car, no sweat but it wasn't just plain sailing on a er, bike. Eventually it came into view and that's when the fun began.
Avenida Diagonal is a riot of nonsense.
Fair's fair: Barca have plenty of bike lanes but the chaotic nature of civilians (pedestrians) make them awkward if you're trying to cut along. And because there are bike lanes, you aren't entirely welcome on the road, which is also fair.
No chance to sight-see or tarry.
One thing did make me laugh: you drink a lot of fluids, right? You will need to unload this at some point, fair enough? Well, I was almost at the end of Avenue Diagonal when I really didn't want to hold on too much longer and there was a bit of greenery around...grass, shrubs you know the deal.
There's also a grounds keeper's cabin there, so I did the decent thing and in my finest Spanglish asked if there was a bog around, Juan? Well, his English was pretty good and he gave his 4 mates (ladies too) a laugh by saying that I couldn't use their toilet but that because I was a cyclist then I had a licence to pee anywhere, hah-hah! I did just that, readers. Subtly, of course...
Top man here: could see that I was struggling to join the dots to leave Barca in the right direction, so he guides me onto the right road. Gracias Senor!
I knew that trying to navigate a city wasn't going to be quick or easy, but I lost a bit more time than I anticipated and there was a bit of a headwind just to annoy.
All that said and done, the scenery and view on the road to Sitges and beyond is simply wonderful: hugging The Mediterranean with climbs and fast descents, all the while giving you the best views. Recommended!
They go a bundle on this stuff on roundabouts. No idea.
My original plan (yes, there is usually one...it just doesn't work very well, hah-hah!) was to try for Tarragona today but that was not happening.
In the event I was lucky (read: very) when I was cycling through Calafell with about 40 minutes of daylight left and found the best place yet (don't tell Ibis Budget, please) for a bargain price.
The view from tonight's acco: a marked improvement!
The rest of the clientele are Seniors from France on a coach tour: you take your life in your hands trying to queue with them, hah-hah!
I know- buffet, right? Wrong- it was ace and just what this bloater needed!
So that's today done and dusted: more yards gained and I don't think my knee is any worse, thankfully. Let's see what tomorrow has in store...and I'll tell you this, if those OAPs have their televisions on loud late tonight, I'll do absolutely nothing about it, hah-hah!
The donations are a source of amazement- good on you all...you know that these are great causes.