Monday, 1 October 2012


If I could think of one thing which would make the end of our epic journey absolutely perfect, it would probably involve bicycles.

Our ferry back to Plymouth was not until 9pm so we had a day to kill in Santander.  Its a nice city so it wouldn't be hard to find something to do.  Why I hadn't noticed that the stage 17 of the Vuelta was leaving from Santander is beyond me.  Thank for you Richard for disturbing my morning ablutions with the news. 
Now indulge me.....

Ben Swift
Richie Porte

Chris 'Mekon' Froome

Richard with his favourite saddle

Phillipe 'God' Gilbert


Orica GreenEdge
Ian 'the beast' Stannard

Roberto Uran

Day 26 Santander

It is over. 

1596 miles cycled
many cans of coke drunk
many pizzas eaten
many glasses of wine enjoyed
and a few beers.
but not one cross word between us

I will never forget this journey.  Epic, hard, tough, spectacular.  All of this and more and I do not have the words.

I will miss our little tent.  And waking up each morning without having to worry or think about anything apart from cycling.  And I do love cycling.  And I love my husband very much.

Day 25 Hendaye to Bilbao

Richard had warned me that the roads in Northern Spain were hellish.

The day began okay.  We cycled to San Sebastian and then out of the city towards Bilbao.  The climb was steep but spectacular.  Then it got strange.  There was a toll gate at the top.  We had cycled up a particularly hard climb and being asked to pay for the privilege.  Only in Spain.  The view was nice though.

We cycled another 20 miles or so.  Up and down, up and down.  But mainly up.  Coastal roads aren't necessarily flat.  The nice road then ran out and we were spat out on a motorway.  We've been away for nearly a month, we've cycled hundreds of miles.  We've nothing to prove.  We can get (another) train.  So we stop at the next town.  I eat the nicest burger I have ever tasted (red pepper, bacon and egg) and we catch the train to Bilbao.

Its a few hours before the train to Santander so it's time for sightseeing

and to prove I have been on the trip, a picture of me...

Its the only one.

We then stumbled across a particularly nice bar in the old town.  Ate more tapas, drank some beer and enjoyed the nice if eclectic music selection (Say Hello, Wave Goodbye being particularly appropiate) of the Spanish/Scottish sounding lesbian.  She'd lived in London for 16 years and had learnt to speak English with a Scottish accent.  I'm not sure how this happened either.

Then train to Santander.

It's nearly over

38 miles
4 hours