Report 6

SPANISH COSTAS - week 3: from March 14 to March 27

On the eleventh day of my trip I cross the Spanish border on a cliff about 200 metres above the sea. After getting through France with hardly a spot of rain, the weather looks even more inviting: warm, sun-drenched days lie ahead of me.

Within a very short period I’ve grown accustomed to the way of life in a Mediterranean country. Every day I cycle about 100 kilometres from one bay to the other – each one more deserted and more enjoyable.

Gone are the daily worries. Questions like ‘ Where am I going to spend the night?, Have I bought enough supplies? ‘ or ‘ Is there a camping site in the neighbourhood? ‘ make no longer part of my daily vocabulary.

I sunbathe until 6 o’clock, then I make a small detour via the local ‘supermercado’, find myself a nice spot on the beach, enjoy my food, have a restoring sleep… I’m sure you get the picture by now! And the next day… this starts all over again.

The Spanish costas in March are worthwhile visiting: sun-drenched beaches, parks filled with orange blossom aroma, palm trees and flowers…

Whether they are Dutch, French or Spanish people keep on wondering about the true motivations of my solo trip. Over and over they ask me the same question " "You alone with bicycle?"

Due to demonstrations in Barcelona I can only pay a flying visit to the capital of busy Catalonia. But a real treat is waiting for me in Vinaros where I’ve arranged to see my grandparents! After their annual hibernation in the south of Spain they are heading back home but of course we have to meet as I haven’t seen them since last October! Being the perfect grandma ‘Bobonne’ is pampering me all the time and we have a great but too short time together. I take my granddad ’Bompa’ cycling and I discover I definitely got the ‘Genes’ from that branch of the Torrekens family! I’m sure I’ve got my batteries filled with new energy and it’s time to hit the road again! I promise my grandparents to meet them again in France in October but then in the opposite direction!

Salou, Castellon and Valencia offer me beautiful parks and an early summer sensation! I work my way through the Ebro delta and my calves suffer on some steeply hills near Denia.

In 3 days I find my way to magnificent Granada and the snow-covered Sierra Nevada. After all this leisure time it’s now time for blood, sweat and tears …



MOUNTAIN REVENGE - week 4 from March 27 – April 1

The moment I arrive in Granada, the weather conditions worsen. Still the 3491-m high Mulhacén is calling my name. I really have to climb this mountain!

The next day the weather doesn’t get any better so I decide to cycle to the Alpujarras and wait for the arrival of the De Smedt family.
Even on Saturday morning there's no sun but I can’t resist to start climbing in a very thick fog.
The first kilometres till at about 2000 metres are easy but then the path is becoming smaller and more risky. So much snow emerges that at 2860 metres I have to cancel it all due to the heavy snowfall of the last few days.

Disappointed I come down to find consolation with the company of the family De Smedt and the nourishing food they’ve prepared!
More reports soon!


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