Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 1 & 2

235 km of the 24,000 are behind me!!!! What an incredible first two day! Arriving at the jardinets at 8 am with so many friend to see me off...teachers, students, friend, the Gracia guys. After the goodbyes it was like a normal club outing towards the Maresme. Vicens and I were accompanied until Canelles and even did our normal breakfast stop in Arenys. Then the two of us headed off solo, but not for long as we randomly encountered another club member just outside of Tossa, on his moto, who acted as our personal photographer for another 20 km. The road was hilly from Tossa to Sant Feliu but with my granny gear I faired rather well!
Albert met us just shy of Sant Feliu and took us all the way to his camping where there were another handful or two of friends waiting. We got the VIP treatment at International Camping of Calonge!  Somehow we managed to stay awake and dance, closing down the disco at midnight.

Susanna, Jordi, and Nora managed to wake up early to see us off as we started off day 2 mentally prepared, ready for lots of climbing as we opted to cross the French border at Ceret.  Vicens had done it before and had fond memories of the road....ah the road...... he failed to leave out the part that there is a gravel section for 2 km going downhill. Rather than taking a picture at a conventional border crossing with the sign of the entering country ours was on a gravel path that had a height restriction out of all things. The descent was a rather uncomfortable silence...the type when you know you've made a mistake but know you are stuck with it. Not to mention we got caught in our first downpour accompanied by a thunder and lightening for the last hour of our route to Ceret.

After taking refuge in a cafe, sipping a hot chocolate, and making a plan if action for the night, we decided we'd had enough bad luck for one day and were optimistic it would stop raining so we could camp comfortably.  I  went ahead and pitched my tent under the picnic area while Vicens pressed his luck under the dark clouds....actually he was really just embarrased to use the picnic area for a campsite! In the tour cycling world there is NO SHAME!!!
We've learned our lesson early....those small rural roads aren,'t always what you think...and although cyclist look for roads with no traffic, sometimes it could be a sign that there really isn't a road!!! Vicens has resigned from drawing routes-it's now become our nightly activity during dinner.

Day 3 has to be a easier if we stay off dirt paths and keep dry, although it can't be as entertaining as today! 
We have yet to get a good nights sleep....who would have guessed the disco in a small French village is right next to a municipal campground...what a rude awakening we had at 1am!!

Crossing the border in a unique way!
Susanna made it up in the morning to see us off!
Ceret after the rain storm
First country: Spain, now on to France

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