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day 43 San Sebastian

"The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea." Isak Dinesen


distance: 97km
Total ascent: 789m
Hours in the saddle: 4 hrs
Terrain: undulating

It seems an age since I have sat down to write this with a beer in hand, not sure why that is but its nice to have the extra help with the writing again.

So today..what happened today..it is terrible, I really do struggle to remember what happens even in the same day let alone previous days. It's one of the main reasons for writing this, while not being all that happens it does give me something to latch on to.

So today..ok so yeah, I had changed to route for today last minute to make the day basically a drop down off the sierra and then along the coast. Nice and simple..a little civilised potter along down the mountains and along the coast, ice cream stop, up the hill overlooking San Sebastian, then home...easy! Of course it is never that straightforward.

The nice descent off the mountain? Well it was, but this being Spain of course it had to put in some 8% climbs along the way. There was a huge number of cyclists out again (a lot of time triallers strangely) and again mostly going the other way. But I did get overtaken and that gave me some pacing to up the ante. It is always good to have someone ahead to pace you. Then I caught a club run, and overtook them. I don't think that went down too well, and we played cat and mouse the whole way down out of the mountains. Really good fun, though I did realise I was pushing it a bit rather than pottering along, so about 5 k from the sea I let them disappear in the distance. The road down had followed the Rio Deba, and just to be nice and consistant it ended in the town Deba. Lovely town and I was glad I had slowed to enjoy it.

The civilised meander along the coast? Well, the good intentions lasted until I left Deba, and then a climb started, and there was a guy just ahead of me so.....In my defence, there is only one thing better than 'pacing' someone downhill/on the straights, and that is to 'pace' someone up a hill. A little bit daft again perhaps as I had no idea about this climb..no idea how long it lasted nor the gradient of it. But it was fun, and that as they say is all that matters. This time what woke me from the chase was that I realised that I had no idea where I was, and it was probably a good idea to find out. Luckily this coincided with the top of the hill, so all good to slow and going the right way too..bonus!

An ice cream stop at Gretaria? Nope, sped past it..neither the beach or any ice cream shops were on the road so nope. Also caught the guy I had been chasing up the hill and overtook. He sat on my wheel as I sped on a awesome road hugging the coast and zipping through holes in the cliffs. I tried to stop at Zaurutz, even went to the beach and got off the bike. Bit no ice cream shop!!! well they had packaged ones but that was no good. So back on the bike again.

Climb the Igledo to look down at the city? I came the closest to this one..got to the lovely Orio, had a nice chap let me draft him for a while til I turned off for the Igledo. Up I went for a km or so..then the damn road was closed! Round a round about back down again. Not sure what I was more annoyed about..that the road was shut or that I had needlessly lost a good wheel to follow. So back on slightly uncharted territory on a valley road to the city. Little bit knackered from all the 'pacing' and no stopping by this point but carried on. All going well until I somehow found myself on a motorway! Eek! Desperately tried to get off it, and after a few km I did..so don't want to do that again! So by now I am tired, hot and a little bit rattled, not the greatest state to be in for city riding. But in theory I just need to head for the beach or the cathedral and all is well. Bout half hour later it was. And I was sat on the promenade over looking the beach with an ice cream, and all was right with the world again.

So San Sebastian.. reserving my opinion of it for the moment. It seems really fab place..nice beaches, awesome aquarium (with sharks, rays and turtles. So cool. That was first on my list of places to go) and another mount -Mount Urgull - that was open that you can walk up to the castle and have an amazing view across the city. Loved that walk, very rustic with random black cats in random spots and paths that hithered and dithered along. At one point walking up a path, I realised I had company. I looked down and there was a little bird walking along beside me, snail in mouth. I think he realised I was there at the same time and we both kinda looked at each other and he, I kid you not, shrugged (as much as birds can) as did I and we both carried on. And no I had not been on the beer by then, only two ice creams for lunch and maybe a lot of sun. What is keeping my judgement about San Sebastian is that it is hugely busy, massively so. But it is Sunday and the Spanish are usually out in force on Sundays, plus also I think there was a footie match..a lot of blue and white shirts on show. So we will see what it is like tomorrow.

Posted by louisebenn 10:45 Archived in Spain

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