19th June 2013

I got in early today so thought I’d add up my totals. I have traveled 1,790km (1,118m) through Spain and pedaled up 43,306m (142,000ft) of ascent. That’s 5 times up Everest.

This is my third consecutive day of riding – I usually take a rest day every 3rd day but I need to get further west to make it home in time for Luke’s birthday. Neither my knees nor the bike liked it – the bike normally gets maintenance every 3rd day so was groaning and squeaking. But we made it, and I am now in Hecho where I will stay tomorrow too. I have found a most excellent hotel/restaurant, which did not appear on Google maps when I queried for “hotel”; but by chance I dropped in at the bar next door. Its the Hotel & Restaurant Casa Blasquico. It’s beautifully decorated inside, the owner is very helpful, the food is excellent and there’s a garage for your bike. Everything the traveler could want.

The route here was pleasant, rolling forested hills, but another day of heavy cloud and some rain so I took few photos. But it was nothing like yesterday, and everywhere had bridges – no fording today.  

As I was cycling up the valley towards Hecho, I saw huge numbers of eagles in the sky. Normally one would see one or two, rarely more than three or four. I counted over 40 in one thermal alone. I don’t know why there were so many – it may have been the poor flying conditions meant they were unable to disperse to hunt as they normally would. There was little wind, and the clouds meant very few thermals were forming. I saw one pair, maybe they were young, but they just couldn’t get lift. Nevertheless they were determined not to flap their wings. They were ahead of me for a mile or more, trying to get lift from the slight breeze off any obstacle – low hills, barns, lines of trees. They were too low to use any weak thermals (thermals usually form at a couple of hundred feet); I left them as they disappeared into some low ground; I think they will have had to flap their way up eventually.

I diverted from the transpirenaica.com route here, so my GPX is slightly different. If you’re hardcore, stick to transpirenaica.com. If you want to visit Casa Blasquico, follow mine.

Published by jhalstead1

This is my blog of my trip around Spain, off road, on my mountain bike. The story is told in full in my book "Three Wheels on my Bicycle", available on Amazon in Kindle or hardback.

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