Halloween, 2016. The sun was well up when I awoke. I luxuriated for a while in my sleeping bag, then leapt up, aware than I had less than 20 hours to finish everything needed before leaving for the ATA Conference on the other side of the world.
My friends the Lamkins had been checking my mail, which was stacked on the kitchen table. After turning on the water, purging the gas lines in the stovetop, and opening the house, I cut open the boxes and envelopes. Continue reading →
Friday, 28 October 2016. Barcelona is blessed with large city markets in each major neighbourhood. They are a favourite target for Cheryl’s camera, especially in the morning, when the fish are plentiful and the produce is fresh. In the morning, she raced off to photograph the Boqueria market behind our hotel, while I got the next blog post drafted. Continue reading →
Wednesday, 19 October 2016. 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. Yet, 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 is 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 →
Wednesday, 12 October 2016. 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. Continue reading →
On Monday, 3 October 2016, 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 0710 train to Aqualva-Caçem. It never appeared. Continue reading →
Wednesday, 28 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 →
22/9/2016, Thursday. Back in 2013, Cheryl rode the Camino Francesa and the Via de la Plata, the latter stretching from Santiago to Seville. 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 →
Friday, 16 September. 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 →
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 →
This is the beginning of a very 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. There are several different routes that the pilgrims can walk, marked by distinctive blue and yellow signs. The Northern Way (Camino del Norte) runs from France along the coast of the Bay of Biscay through the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturia, to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.