Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day 386: Girona to Blanes

Time: 3:36
Distance: 54.2 kph
Avg Speed: 15.1
Terrain: Hilly
Location: N 41° 40' 51", E 2° 48' 28"

I awoke to church bells this morning. The 6 am bells went off and I lazed in bed until the 7 am bells before waking Leslie. The sunrise isn’t until a little before 8:00, so getting out of bed and off to the races hasn’t been a huge priority. We finally got up and had some coffee to clear our heads. These shorter days aren’t any easier to get ready for. I think in some ways they are harder since we don’t put our heads down and ride. We take our time, take pictures, and when we get to where we are going, we usually check out the sites. Both of our legs are sore today from walking a couple hours yesterday. Sad isn’t it.
The ride out of Girona was pretty straight forward and once again Leslie led the charge. A couple of big roundabouts later and we were on the open road. I think we ride through at least a half a dozen roundabouts a day. Our biggest one yet was a three laner outside of Perpignan. We operate on the go, point, go principle. We go as hard as we can to get in it, point where we are going, and go as hard as we can to get out of it. The bigger ones, or the ones we go all the way around in can be tiring. Once we got out of Girona we got into farm country where there were several pig farms to flavor the air. Luckily we only were exposed for a couple of kilometers before we rode out of it. We had several little climbs up and over the coastal range and just like that we were on the Costa Brava of Spain. The Costa Brava is the coastline along the state of Catalonia.
The riding along the coast started out with more hills, but after a half hour or so we descended into the developed cityscape of Lloret de mar. We stopped on the outskirts to enjoy peanut butter sandwiches at a playground. Playgrounds are some of our favorite places to stop to eat. They always have benches, most of time shade and most of the time water. Today we just got benches, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. It was only another 8 km to Blanes so we joined the tour buses and headed south. We found a nice hostal on the north end of town and proceeded to lounge the rest of the day. In Spain, or for that matter most of South America there are hotels, hostals, hostels and pensions. All are rooms for rent, but they all vary tremendously in value. We stayed at a hotel in Figueres where we had a great big room at a little price. We stayed at a pension in Girona (in old town) where we had a little room, with tons of charm and a little price. Today’s hostal is a big room on the outskirts of town for our biggest price yet in Spain. One of these days we will get the lodging thing figured out.

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