On a Wednesday in mid-October, the sky was turning from black to indigo then to blue. We got up too early for the hotel breakfast, and rode into Ronda. By now the train station in the capital of the Pueblos Blancos was familiar, but the day was not off to a good start. The ticket agent, backed by the various personnel in the station, did not want us to take the train to Granada. It turned out that the train station in Granada was being renovated, and that there was a substitute bus service for the last three stops on the line. They insisted that the buses would not take bicycles. Continue reading
Category Archives: 2016 Intercontinental
Andalusia and the Pueblos Blancos
On a Wednesday in mid-October, the dark clouds that had been gathering all morning turned to rain as we left the ferry landing in Ayamonte, Spain. We rode to the bus station, where we hoped to make up lost time by taking the bus at least to Huelva, the next big town. Lucky for us, it turned out that it was a national holiday in Spain, so there were few passengers, no competing luggage, and light traffic. The DAMAS driver let us put our bikes in the bus and took us all the way to Seville. We also outran the rain.
El Camino Portugués: Obidos to the Algarve.
On a Monday in early October, we rolled out of the medieval city of Obidos in the predawn darkness. After some dead ends and backtracking, we located the empty, unmanned station. Watching a brilliant dawn, we waited for the 07:10 train to Aqualva-Caçem. It never appeared. Continue reading
El Camino Portugués: Porto to Obidos
Wednesday in late September: a memorably great day, and the first seriously warm day since we left San Sebastian. We got separated at first, so that we crossed the Douro River on different spans of the Luis I Bridge. Using our phones to effect a rendezvous outside the port wine tasting rooms on the Gaia waterfront, we made our way to the Atlantic on the south bank of the river. Continue reading
El Camino Portugués: Santiago to Porto
Back in 2013, Cheryl rode the Camino Francesa and the Via de la Plata, the latter stretching from Santiago to Seville. This time, remembering the ugly suburbs and industrial zones south of Santiago and the heavily travelled N-550, she suggested taking the train to Vilagarcia de Arousa. After Vilagarcia, we biked the Michelin three-star roads of the Rias Bajas peninsulas. Continue reading
El Camino de Santiago: Ribadeo to Santiago de Compostela
Friday, we awoke to threatening skies. With dawn at 0730, once again we did not get up early enough. We struck out from Ribadeo past the beautiful beaches west of town. Light rain followed us all day. However, the only two times that it poured heavily, we managed to be under cover, including lunch in Foz. Continue reading
El Camino del Norte: Deba to Ribadeo
Monday, 5 September. Dawn came late as is usual in these parts. If it weren’t for the hikers setting their alarms, we would have slept until the sun came up after 0830. Spain occupies the same longitudes as England, but keeps Western European (Continental) time. During Daylight Saving Time, that makes the sun some up (and go down) two hours later than solar time. We never got used to that. Continue reading
El Camino del Norte: San Sebastian to Deba
The votes coming in from the poll indicate twice as much interest in travel stories than the other categories. Second place: the stories at my author page. So, grab a cup of whatever and join me for a special journey. The Way of Saint James (El Camino de Santiago in Spanish) was inaugurated in 831 AD. For almost 1300 years, pilgrims have walked (and now biked) to the Cathedral in Western Spain where the Biblical apostle James is buried. Continue reading
Living and working abroad: my bookmark list.
Trip update: This week brought high winds and rain on three of the seven days. With westerly gusts of 27 knots and occasional frog-choking downpours, I worked indoors, and walked to the Tempo Prezioso Literary Café for my WiFi connection. This cozy café opened up less than a month ago. It features comfortable sofas and chairs, abundant outlets and a powerful WiFi signal. Of course, all the usual offerings of an Italian bar are there, from espresso to the harder stuff. I can eat a tramezzino and put off supper until they close and I walk back to the flat. After the storm front passed, the hills above 300 metres had a dusting of snow. Continue reading
“I never repeat a mistake, but …”
Trip update: At 2230, the phone interrupted Gideon Oliver just as he was about to solve the crime. I stood up from the eBook I was reading and went to the phone. Timoteo Lamkin was inviting me to celebrate the New Year from the family balcony overlooking the fireworks on the Gulf of Gaeta. I had planned to spend a quiet evening hiding from the war zone and its fog of cordite, but I was touched that they would think of me. And so I greeted the New Year in the company of friends and waved a dozen sparklers myself. Continue reading