Rain always seems to always come when I am in Pech and am begining to think I bring it with me. Having been cooped up in a van for a week or so, I am pretty keen to get out on the bike, loosen the legs up and get some fresh air. I have managed a couple of rides out so far..one up to Ax 3 domain and up along the Route de Corniche, second back up to the Route de Corniche for lunch with a friend of mine. Gradients on the climbs swinging between 8 and 13% which seem less of a challenge after the Angliru's monsters. Hopefully the sun will come out more later in the week for some longer rides out. But for now I am happy to make the most of the rain and spend my time sleeping and recouping after a non stop 3 weeks (plus of course the touring weeks before). It's sooo nice to be in one place and to be able to control what I eat and do. The place feels so like home that I caught myself looking forward to see my cat there when walking back from the village! The home feeling in general is something I am definitely appreciating ..such a difference to hotel living. Little things like having orange marmelade (not really a Spanish nor French thing), and even being able to potter around the gite doing domestic things like cleaning and such. I am not domestic at home but after 11 weeks it is nice to do something so normal. I get this on the road a little too..flaffing around cleaning and rearranging the back of the van is great therapy and becoming a relaxation technique for me plus it's a way to get some time to myself.
Aside from that I have time to check over the route for when the touring starts again..it is over a month away but I have only one or two free days in that time. My friend up the hill here has a place in Tortosa, so she has been giving me some great advice where and where not to go in Catalunya/Catalonia.
There is also time to look back at the last couple of weeks which were all a bit of a blur going through. The last week especially was eventful..to put it in perspective here are the weeks events for each:
My Raid: rain and more rain, and the Aubisque being closed.
Pico's: I broke the guy in charge's bike (luckily easily fixable). On the transfer morning @5am not being able to find the key for the lock for the trailer and the guys spending half hour sawing through the chain to free it, only to realise 5min later that the keys were in fact attached to one of their bags....doh!
Second Raid events...continual garmin nightmares, 4 punctures, 2 broken spokes (3 if you count the spare), one kinky chain, one bleeding man, two mountain driving detours, one smashed bike, two van break downs, one dog bite, one stalker.
Apparently its the most eventful trip they've had for a while by any standards...a great training week! But all in all it's been great fun and has taken me to the most amazing places and scenery.
Right time to get back to slouching on the couch and watching the Michael Jackson celebration on the French music channel...bliss.....