We have now experienced more than our fair share of April showers, and I’m getting a little fed up of the constant rain, although it does make falling asleep in the tent pretty easy.
We started this week with a few more hills (yay), some drizzle and another closed campsite. It’s almost becoming quite routine, turn up, find it’s shut, and whip out the phones to find an Airbnb or hotel. And this time ended in us staying at the most beautiful renovated Inn, to which we arrived soaked and muddy after following alot of gravelly muddy tracks along fields of grape vines. Our host, Nerea made us feel super welcome and cooked us an amazing dinner, complete with local wine. So I’m starting to quite enjoy closed campsites..
We have spent alot more time cycling on very quiet roads through rolling countryside and very dead villages, but have always managed to find a little bar, full of friendly locals and with an owner willing to make us a massive lunch. And we have ridden up and over the parque natural del cañon del Rio Lobos, a beautiful canyon with the river running along the bottom of it. Here we saw lots of vultures and explored some caves.
The landscape is getting more and more interesting and we are doing a bit more climbing! Despite the rain and cold we have had some beautiful rides through massive forests in the parque naturals, and climbed up past the snow line again to reach the Puerto de Santa Ines (1753 m) before enjoying long descents through gorgeous valleys and along tiny streams which turned into huge, roaring rivers.
The scenery has turned from pine forests and mountains to a more desert-like stark red rock, and back again as we entered the Pyrenees mountain range. And this has made up for the long days of riding in the rain. Every so often the sun will come out, the rain will stop and the clouds will clear and we get a glimpse of how amazing the views can be.
Top campsite this week had a free indoor heated pool and sauna, which was an amazing treat after a very long, wet day in the saddle.
And during one boring rainy morning near Tafalla we got waved off the road by a policeman on a motorbike so a huge peleton of junior riders could race past! I think they enjoyed our cheers, though they looked pretty grim.
The last few days have been miserable with the rain, even the beautiful mountain views aren’t making up for it anymore, although the snow topped Pyrenees are now in sight. If anyone wants to do a rain dance in our honor that would be great!
Jim’s words – Off-road, Sandwich, Forests, Downhill, Miserable, Rain, Rainy.