Another excellent ‘camp’s site, awoke to the sound of bird song. No breakfast today and limited water as I rode the 45km to Miranda. How I thought I would arrive here last night is a mystery. The N232 after Ona took me over rolling hills of arable land. To the south were the snow capped Sierra Cebollera. The road was straight for much of the ride with few villages and those had no facilities. I was working off the energy values of an apple (a big one), a lump of very nice cheese and four yogurts, all eaten last night. Where had all the bars gone? Then I heard a large van driving around sounding it’s horn. People came out to buy food stuffs from this mobile shop. However it was too mobile and had driven off before I could get to it.
Looking south to the Sierra Cebollera at over 2,000m ASL.
The scenery was easy on the eye, not dramatic, just peaceful, blossom on the few trees, cereal crops already a good 150cm tall, oil seed rape adding a splash of yellow and the birds just sung. The N232 combined with the N1. I needed to check that I hadn’t made a mistake. This could have been the M1 in the UK. So many large trucks, probably about 5:1 trucks/cars. Their side wind as they passed ensured I stayed to the right of the hard shoulder. Hot and very hungry having done 30km, I took off into Pancorbo to see what I could find.
I only had a black coffee, a Coke and a packet of crisps (don’t much like crisps), but needs must. Well the Coke and coffee, or caffeine and caffeine entering the blood stream was like an injection of fresh oxygenated blood. I felt as though I’d been at high altitude for weeks and just returned to sea level. The new found energy was appreciated.
Back onto Truck Highway, N1. No photos, as full attention was needed elsewhere. Gone was the serenity of the rolling quiet hills of a couple of hours ago.
A tunnel was approaching. Without question both my rear lights went on, as did the front light and sunglasses off. As I went through the tunnel I have no idea how many lorries were in there, probably eight, but it was deafening. Within 50m of emerging, the hard shoulder vanished. I am so pleased that I bothered to put a rear view mirror on my left handbar. There were several lorries behind me in both of the carriageway. Waving my hand I pointed my intention to come out into the inside lane. This worked well, cos I’m still here! It also attracted the attention of, guess what, yet another police car. As the vehicle drove passed, the officer had his window down, waved and gave the thumbs up to me and said something that even had I understood, would have been lost to the traffic noise. He later circled off the road and passed me a second time, smiling and waving.
Again Anne has kindly booked me a room for tonight. Four nights wild camping makes you smelly and unshaven. Although it hasn’t rained everything is wet and getting muddy due the the morning dew. None the less I gain a lot of satisfaction from this approach.
How to trash a hotel room.
View from hotel room balcony, where the drying tent nearly morphed into a paraglider as the wind took hold of it.
So as I lay on a comfortable bed in a nice eighth floor hotel room in Miranda, (oops, should I rephrase that, no, the opportunity couldn’t be missed. My apologies, should some have been offended, but maybe there is an inward smile with you too). I’m shaved, bathed, tent is dry, washed clothing is drying and I’m off for some food and a beer in town.
I have visited Ciclos Maldonado cycle shop in town. Juan very kindly agreed to clean and lub the bikes gearing that have taken a hammering, particularly in the ice and snow. These long descents are also wearing the break blocks, so thanks Dave, (of Cycle Fast) for the spare set. I’ll fit them in the next week.
I’m now taking some R and R in a town park. Several dogs are being walked – leaving no evidence. Not a single piece of litter and i’ve been here an hour and not heard one swear word. Indeed since Gibraltar I haven’t heard a single swear word. Quite something.
The park has a number of interesting sculptures and obviously the winters are too cold for the trees.