Total ascent: 657m
Hours in the saddle: 2hr 15
Terrain: up! And of course down!
A consequence of leaving France early is that my first cycle days are shorter and today was the shortest. I did think perhaps to detour back off the route up the Puymorens but it feels odd to go the 'wrong' direction is back to France, plus it would mean going without coffee. What was the final nail in that thought trail was that I realised I was still getting up before 7 every day...why???! No matter the weather it really did seem daft still doing that and I remembered that on the first part of the tour I had learnt to kick that habit after it started taking its toll. Time to nip it in the bud...coffee and breakfast being priorities from now on regardless.
So an easy day...on the N260 again along the valley a little and then up the Collada de Tosada. A fantastic little climb the gradually ascends up along a range of foothills. Its a long old hoik..25km-ish but it evens out at a very civilised gradient and beautiful pristine views to take your mind off what there was. There was not one bit of straight though..25km of wiggles! (And that's a technical term). Very much a cyclist rather than a drivers road..something that seemed to be known as I saw a valley road running parallel which was where all the cars seemed to be. Then there was a fantastic 25km of descent. Its weird I hardly recognise myself now that I love descending..its such a new experience. Granted there are still a few corners which are hair raising but that's usually when my mind has wondered off the road. Or when the corner is hidden in shade..not only is it difficult to see how sharp the corner is but you also fight against the cold..it seriously was dropping a good 15degrees which made for some shivering and some funny noises too! Brrrr
I had also thought that once at my destination of Ribes de Freser I would head on up the mountain from there..either cycling the 8km as far as I could or train to Nuria. However..it being Spain (or Catalan) there was of course a fiesta going on that drew me in! Not really sure what it was all about..there was lots of flags celebrating 30 years of the giants of Ribes..Nuria and Malenic (though some people had obviously been left out the loop and had flags for 28 years of the giants instead). What I do know was that there was a big bandstand with orchestra playing and hundreds of old dears dancing along. Now this is where it was fascinating..the dancing was in circles with hands clasped with your neighbours. If I hadn't known I was in Spain I would have thought I had been transported across the Med to Greece! Greek dancing is slightly more energetic but that might have been more to do with the age of this dancing crowd rather than dance style. Really random music too..almost brass bandy so it didn't really fit. But they all seemed to be enjoying themselves and the younger generations who were not allowed into the dance square were happy enough to sit eat and drink watching all the goings on. I know I could have sat for hours watching it.
My hostal is a fantastically quirky place. My room is about 6 floors up and there is a huge sun terrace just along the corridor with views across the town. Its basic but very friendly..at 19€a pop, I can't complain. (Except that I will have to spend that saved money as I left my shampoo at the last place again ggrrr!)
On a side note..watched the first in the series of Fargo..oh my god! What an awesome series! No idea where it's going to go but it's brilliant! Will have to pace myself with the remaining episodes...
Other random thoughts..
-when is a wood a wood and a forest a forest? What's the difference?
-what actually counts as a flight of stairs? Is it a continuos set of steps or can you have a bend in it ie a flight is between two landings regardless? And why a 'flight'?
Time for Mr Google I think..
Tomorrow I am heading for Olot pretty excited about that..volcanoes!!!