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Girona

sunny 35 °C

distance:111.2km
Total ascent: 1200m
Time in the saddle: 5hrs 10min
Terrain: a day of all types
Weather: oh. ...my.....god....I am melting!!!

It's generally a sign of things to come in the day when even though you wake early you are sweating after just getting dressed. Taking the hint, I had breakfast and was on the road by half 7. Weirdly though once I got moving it was fine heat wise..ok 20 degrees at that time of morning is daft but apparently that's the lowest it goes in the summer even at night. No it was a weird mist that came down and soaked me through. It wasn't one of the cold heavy droplet mists I have come across before..more a very fine mist that soaked you without you even realising it. It stayed with me all down the C31, until I got bored of the main road and decided on my first detour of the day through the countryside. The second I left the C31, even on the slip road the mist vanished. It was a sign!! I did flybys of several interesting looking towns..Torroella de Montgri had a fantastic castle on top of its closest hill, it was a little bit misty again when I went past but its silluete stood out on the horizon; Pals -a medievil town and first town I saw with circular towers/turrets; Begur again dominated by a castle which was central to the town.

Up until Pals it had been pretty flat ride, nto fast though as it was into a pretty strong headwind, and then it all changed. Ouch. I had forgotten that coves..while making the best beaches..also mean sharp hills. Going to Begur was to some extent a warm up for what was to come when I got to the coast. While not the hardest climb it was steep enough and sheltered from the all important cooling wind. Leaving Begur however was a nasty 15%er. Oof. And that was just the first of them..interspersed with lovely descents down to gorgeous bays. The only redeeming factor of these ups was that you knew at the top the view would make it all worthwhile. The worse one I have to say was coming out of Aigua Blava..ouch. It seemed the other side was just as bad as I past two guys coming up that way on mtbs..front guy all smiling and keen..second guy..had the look of wondering what he had done to deserve this..I could relate. Deciding I needed a refuel and desperate rehydration at this stage I stopped at Tamarui for a break.

Instead of subjecting myself to more pain than necessary I headed to Palafrugell and inland. After which I kinda forgot about that and detoured off the main road again..the curiosity to explore greater than any common sense that I may (or may not) possess. Through the lovely countryside and up the mini mountain that stood between me and Girona. In my defence..I had read it was a 'recovery day ride'. What hadn't clicked though was that I was coming at it from the otherside in what was now 35degree heat. The rolling up before the climb to 'Els Angels' was amazing..very beautiful and you could see clearly that this is definitely more of a money area than anywhere else I have travelled to. The climb proper..well am sure it wasn't too horrendous in itself, but the heat was. Oof. So glad there was a cafe in the sanctuary at the top..I downed two cans of fizz to try and recoop. Then 'down' to Girona...only I seemed to be going more up than down. The recovery ride side becoming clearer by the second.

Then Girona...following my usual cunning plan of just to head to the centre of town..I found a flaw in my usually foolproof technique. The signposts made no sense. They seemed to keep taking me round in circles or at least not in the direction I thought we should be going. But eventually I hit the main tourist road to the cathedral and a yogurt shop and quite conveniently my place was just behind this. Dropping the bike I had a wee wander about town but it was about 2pm and so ridiculously hot so I gave up and crashed out. I only ventured out at about 5 but even then it was still in the 30's. I have never sweated so much in my life! But I like Girona. It does have a whiff of money and manicuring about it which differentiates it from the other cities I have been to. Especially in terms of the restaurants and the prices! But ignoring that it seems an interesting place..I've not explored it fully yet but there is a cathedral, and several other just as interesting churches. The river runs through the town crossed by numerous pedestrian bridges including one designed by the Eiffel Tower architect. Old city walls. Maze of shopping streets that never seems to end. It is a big city but it actually has a small city feel. It feels like my home town in a way, though that IS actually a small city and it has a lot less money than here! In my scummy clothes I actually feel a little out of place...I may have to go shopping!

Posted by louisebenn 12:07 Archived in Spain

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