Sunday, 20 April 2014


Saturday:  19. 04.2014
Cacabelos – Alto do Polo   51kms    914m   (stopped by rain and fog)
I know that I was really fatigued when I sat down to write last night. As a result there were three things worthy of comment which I had forgotten. Old age!?
1. Right at the start of all the climbing that was to come and after a short break to take on fluids, Al glanced at me to acknowledge that we were ready for the off. And, indeed, he went. I tried but failed to get my shoe in the cleat. On inspecting my shoe, I discovered that I had managed to stand in an enormous pile of shit! It was either produced by a massive dog or something of similar size. As Al was disappearing up the hill, I searched in vain for some implement to prise the muck from said shoe. A piece of stone was the best I could find at short notice so I hopped around and finally removed the shoe and removed as much of the offending muck, as I could.  By this time Speedy had reached the top of the hill and was almost out of sight. He did, however, stop and wait………..eventually. Hot and bothered and feeling abandoned I was pretty harsh and accusatory with my “ I got shit on my shoe” “Hardly my fault!” he retorted, with justification, but it is always so much more satisfying to blame someone else for your own carelessness. Anyway, I think shit on your shoe is supposed to be lucky?
2. Our lunch stop took in a large pile of stones which are, apparently an accumulation of stones carried by and left by pelicans who have brought the stone from their home! We have not carried an entirely useless and heavy stone from home so our contribution was nil but we admired the efforts of others.
3. Having gasped our way up to the top of our climb, we were looking forward to a speedy descent. It was, however, very steep and after a couple of kilometres the tarmac metamorphosed into concrete and cobbles through a teeny village. Thankfully, Hawkeye spotted the change before we wobbled onto it. As the weather was dry, it was not that dangerous, but we took the safe, if undignified option, of walking. 
All that was yesterday and so I have just asked Al to comment on the highlights for today and his comment was,”Uphill!” And this is so true. From the time we left Cacabelos the road rose ahead.  Much of it was rideable but a good few sections were reduced to walkable. No bad thing really as it gives the arm muscles a chance to do their thing. Legs are looking like Malta legs as the weather has hitherto been very hot and sunny. This evening has come as a bit of a shock: low cloud, rain and very low temperatures. No more sun-tan then.
In need of accommodation, we have stopped at an alberque run by a real Julie Walters waitress, except she is the owner and general manager. For the princely sum of 28 Euros we have a double room with an ensuite, and a three course meal with wine! Mind you, Al is dicing with death by strangulation in his sleeping bag again! There will be no lie-in as the cockerel is housed below with his entourage of hens. Likely to be up with the lark and eating toast before eight. I doubt we will be treated to a full English!

More ups and downs to come tomorrow but progress is steady and thanks again one and all for your comments. (Getting quite a lot of those from passing cyclists; we think they are complimentary but we could be quite wrong!)

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