Total ascent: 412m
Hours in the saddle: 1hr 15
Well that was a bit of a pathetic day. I didn't realise how pathetic til I looked up and wrote down those stats. In my defence I felt pretty crappy. A flicky light kept me awake most of the night..it was off but it still flicked like lightning every so often. And because of that and probably everything else the last few months I felt absolutely drained. Even the climb which was not much was a struggle. Nothing in my legs to give and nothing to focus my head. It wasn't helped by the fact me knee was hurting..probably a consequence of trying to find and fix the creak on my bike and so putting my saddle slightly out of place...and then of course the creak itself which will I am sure slowly drive me insane before to long if not already.
So anyway the majority of the day was spent checking out Olot. A spralling kinda place, with a huge market going on, windy central streets, and long tree lined avenues out side these.
When tired I don't always make the most logical decisions... well no...there is logic behind the decisions but maybe not enough to justify what's actually required to carry it out. Today's was that I got it in my head that I had to find and go to Carrefour. I had to get a few bits..damn shampoo for one..but for some reason any old supermarket wouldn't do, only Carrefour which was a good 2km or so out of town. So off I wandered...in the mid day sun..passing numerous alternatives..realising half way that I would be limited to how much stuff I could buy (what was I after anyway??) as my dodgy shoulders and back could only carry so much and not a lot at that. But I kept going..on principle now. actually it wasn't so bad. I got my bits and headed back into town and my back and shoulders held up pretty well..except a couple of moments with the more recent left shoulder injury. But that's something..vast improvement to a week ago where even a small shopping bag caused problems with both shoulders and my back. So I'll take that!
Back to my hostal for lunch and a siesta..god I love siestas! They really should have them everywhere! Oh and a much needed proper shower. Little bit less stinky and sticky now. Time was also to rearrange the routes of the next week somewhat. There are so many places I want to cycle (by reputation) around here that its difficult to fit it all in. So from tomorrow I am going to get my ass in gear and start cycling properly..no excuses. By changing the routes..I also have to.
Anyway back to Olot...I'm sitting in the main square now having a beer..( I realised little things like having a time out beer or actually having proper food are actually things I have not got back into the routine of doing. Probs not helping!) Anyway so Olot and Catalonia have quite a different feel to the other parts of Spain (or to Spain..if one is being PC)..its similar but different. I can't quite put my finger on what it is yet..it seems more multicultural, tho the obsession with hams and cheeses is still here. They are immensely patriotic..flags flying everywhere, all URLs end in .cat, Cat generally is in most names. Even the churches differ..the style seems to be to have an octagonal sided tower on them, and while they are the centre of the towns they are not nearly as much the focus. There are no castles as yet either. Both are possibly due to being in the foothills still and it may change as I move out. Here too has the gigantes. I read up about this last night..apparently all towns have their own giants with their own names. The catholic church..wanting to increase their foothold here took over several idioms from the old faiths..giants and dragons being two. and the giants are celebrated in every town across the province. I don't quite get the year thing though..Ribes was 30years, here 125..perhaps Ribes was a bit slow on the uptake?!
But similarities include the love of frozen yogurt. Much to my annoyance as I am sitting here watching the yogurt shop and there is a queue right out the door and almost round the street. They do hot chocolate properly...you have to 'drink' it with a spoon. The love of good pastries, cakes and wee sweetie morsels. Oh I could go on..except I won't, I'm hungry and need to go find a place that serves food early as am not quite on Spanish eating time yet. Tomorrow I will try and find a volcanic cuisine restaurant which is very much something from here. .not that I have seen the volcanoes themselves yet...