5,103km down: 1,122km to go
It was hot during the night but thankfully we were at a quiet camp site.
When we got in yesterday we were told that the bar shuts at 4pm (it was 3pm) and the pool shuts at 6pm. Not sure if it was because it was Sunday or whether it was because the camp site was deserted. To get wifi you had to produce your passport and get an ID card, quite a lot of work for one night. Also we found out later the password was device specific and as a group we were only allowed four. Thankfully our group is now only 8 riders and not everyone wanted Internet access.
We are back to showers that you have to push the button to get 7 seconds of water before you have to push it again, and the toilet saga continues – toilets with no seat, but there was soap and paper. I guess if your house has no toilet seat there is never any argument about the seat being left up. There was another interesting translation on a sign in the toilet: “You had to use the paper properly, thank you”.
We knew today was going to be challenging with hills 10k long, and the heat, so we were on the road by 7:30am. It is not light enough now to leave any earlier. The first 28k was relatively flat, we went through a seaside town called Miami Platsa (which translates to Miami Beach), and we took a photo as we left the Mediterranean and headed inland. The scenery today was fantastic – when you got your head up and your breathing under control enough to enjoy it!
I think it was one of the most challenging rides we have done so far. Tomorrow we start with a 50k rail trail then more of the same so maybe that will be the most challenging, as my legs will not have fully recovered from today. We climbed up past kilometre after kilometre of olive trees and almond trees. There was an enormous amount of work that had taken place building stone walls and terraces. There were a few fields of vines as well. At one place there was a golf resort and at the end of it there was a veggie garden.
We passed an amazing old village Tivissa, and just before lunch we crossed the Rio Ebro river. At lunch there was an ant hill just near the lunch truck, and after a few crumbs of food were dropped it was like a highway – streams of ants going both ways carrying crumbs, sometimes 8 or 9 ants were working together underneath the crumb, and you could just see moving pieces of bread and not the ants.
Today we climbed up 1,436 metres and went down 983. I had my photo taken at the summit of the Coll de Fatxes at 507 metres. In the picture you can’t really see that I’m leaning against the pole recovering. Just before the camp, having just climbed up a hill that seemed to go on and on and on, we got to a plateau and rode along with a beautiful backdrop of mountains with fields of new vines in front, it was very pretty.
When we got to the camp, YAY a pool! And no ID rigmarole! And open until late! I had a great swim with the best view I have ever had in a pool.