Day 64: Barcelona to Tarragona – 103k

4,995km down: 1,230km to go 

Yay no fire alarm at 1:30 in the morning so I had a better sleep last night. We had a slightly later start today as the hotel restaurant was not open until 7:30am. We were also delayed by one of the riders – Scott – who had his bike bag stolen from the lobby while the group was there!

At the time it was stolen the group was listening to the day’s instructions. I am not sure how many of you have seen the video where you have to watch and say how many times the ball was passed between people on the screen. At the end of the video you get asked how many times the ball was passed – but also if you saw the moon-walking bear. Of course nobody sees the bear moon-walking across the screen because they are so busy counting passes. Well that’s pretty much what happened – the bag was taken from right in front of us and none of us can remember seeing anyone other than a rider at the time!

Stealing is rife here, when we were having lunch Brett had his phone on the table, and the waitress told him to put it in his pocket so it would not be stolen. When Scott went to the police station there was a full time interpreter on site that spoke English and French. There was an English couple there who had been at the railway station, a person had sprayed the man’s coat so he put down his bag to inspect the damage, and bang – his bag was gone!

The first 12k today was a convoy, we went out of the city past the art museum, it was an amazing building from the outside, plus we saw the outside of the football stadium that seats 99,000.

Interesting building on the way out of Barcelona (it’s a hotel)

Then we had a climb over a hilly range of hills then back to beaches again. Unlike the French beaches the Spanish beaches were humming (although today of course was Sunday so will be interesting to see if this is the same for the rest of the week).

Coastal hills on the way from Barcelona (we were on the smaller road up the top)

We went past another huge deserted amusement park – maybe they only open in the evenings? Or maybe the economic downturn is taking a toll? The campsite we are staying at looks pretty quiet, so far no students or people who look like they will party until the wee hours, so fingers crossed (no sign of dogs or roosters either) and there are no large overhead lights over the tent area.

Henry (who is the owner of Tour d’Afrique Ltd), his partner, and his mum came to see us in Barcelona, and catch up with the tour guys. Tonight they had dinner with us at camp. Henry told us the history of the start up of the African ride in 2003 – fascinating stories. Plus we heard about how he was attacked by an elephant on the Indian ride in 2011, he was very lucky to still be alive. Luckily the elephant stopped when the helmet cracked, but by that time he had cracked ribs, a badly broken arm, and a broken back. Henry is back riding now but only about 8k a day, but is hopeful of making a full recovery.

Tomorrow we leave the coast and head inland, we don’t see the sea again until Lisbon, and then it is the Atlantic not the Mediterranean! We have now done 4,995k since we left St Petersburg. We have 12 riding days left until the end of the ride, plus 3 rest days.

Late addition: I meant to say in my blog yesterday: in the market there are lots of people selling this very annoying whistle toy, but I couldn’t think of anyone I disliked enough to buy their child one. Clearly people buy them as they were selling them about every two metres along the boulevard.

 Test Your Awareness Video:

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