Day 22 Pedal to the metal..
Trip Start Mar 19, 2012
30Trip End Apr 10, 2012
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Where I stayed
Los Arcos Navarra,Spain -Chatellarault,France 410 miles (!)
Really had trouble getting on the road this morning – seemed like a big effort. I had parked the bike outside reception in view of the night counter, but left a big dent in the metal hotel wall panel when I reversed into it on leaving at 10am. If in doubt, scram. So far so good this evening, only knocked one potted tree over so far whilst parking by the door.
There were still some hills to dispense with this morning between Pamplona and San Sebastian, but being a motorway the worst were flattened or holed with tunnels, well worth the toll cost. I've decided to leave exploring the Picos in Northern Spain until that air filter is revamped.
I was a bit thrown by the change of signage to Basque rather than French or Spanish, but I navigated by GPS electronic compass ok (the motorways again didn’t show on my 2007 software – sometimes eBay has its disadvantages!). I was amazed how elated I felt crossing into France, the sun was shining and the toll staff seemed so much friendlier. The Spanish are friendly, but there is a mild arrogance / loudness which seems absent in the softer introspective French nature. I guess the Spanish temperament sits between the French and dare I say the comparatively intrusive and selfish Moroccan approach.
Apologies for the lack of photos today – no easy parking and it was a manic day. I had a large lunch but paid for it at 3pm when I had the distinct desire to sleep, so I pulled over at an 'aire’ stop, locked the helmet, stowed the electronics and slept on a bench for an hour in the sun. Feeling refreshed and re-injected with caffeine I then rode until 9pm. Snug with the electric jacket plugged in, I did consider seeing who far North I could get if I travelled until midnight, but at 9 a mild shakiness and lack of concentration was sufficient warning that 11 hours in the saddle was affecting my riding and judgement.
Babs seemed to be in a good mood, and although still stinking of drive oil, she discovered a sweet spot at a heady 58mph, and stayed there all day. She likes 50mph and 58, but hates 55. With plenty of low altitude cool air she happily stayed at her fastest for most of the day.
Looking at the miles it’s still about 360 to the tunnel, so adding the 120 in the UK makes it a bit much even going by today’s effort, so looks like a run to near Abbeville tomorrow then home Wednesday to hang up my riding gear for a while..