The Rain in Spain!

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Day 7 (May 14) ~ Girona to Palamós

We're in the mountains, we're heading to the sea. That's downhill, isn't it?

Well, yes, on average...

Before we can go down, we have to go up, and it's another classic Girona route for the serious cyclist. I forgot to mention earlier than when Mark saw my camera, he expressed some surprise that I was taking such a big and heavy thing. This is a land where the hardcore types worry about drinking too much water because every teaspoonful weighs FIVE GRAMS!!!

So, TdF wannabes (and quite possibly TdF actuallyares) I have sacrificed my performance in the climb so that you don't have to, and you can look at my pictures and see the things that you could have seen if you had been as frivolous as I!

As we leave Girona, we're really quite surprised at how little water there is in the river. Sure, it wasn't all that deep higher up, but this doesn't look right at all.

A lovely smooth road with virtually no cars. At this point it's not too steep either. Spoiler alert: the former won't change, the latter will.

It's not quite clear what this bike/shrine is for. The text below the picture reads "We Are Your Friends - Justice V" and appears to show a media player control bar. If you Google that phrase, you will find this song: Justice Vs Simian - We Are Your Friends but I confess it not only leaves me none the wiser, I don't even think I'm better informed. (Oh, and I don't really rate the song either, but maybe that's just me.)

Here's me looking dead professional like.

Hmm... Maybe these guys are a bit more so?

This is the sort of view that you only see if you stop.

A short diversion from the main road, this is the place we've all come to see.

Welcome to... not that much, actually.

Now you might think that when somewhere is pretty much a must-see destination for tourists, and particularly cyclists who aren't going to be weighed down by carrying their own food or drink, that you would make an absolute killing running a cafe there. There is indeed a cafe here, but it's closed.

We have been warned that Catalan restaurateur logic is not like normal logic, but even so. Yes, we have brought supplies, but we would still not say no to a nice sit-down at a decent caff. It is not to be.

We will have our lunch at another little village square.

I don't know if the decoration of the water tap is meaningful or just decorative.

The church looks interesting, but...

Huh! It's one of those.

This seems to be something of a thing in Catalunya. In fairness, it may be more widespread, and if it's only a relatively recent innovation, we may simply not have encountered it elsewhere. But anyway, the point is that the church is not open to visitors outside of its normal operating hours (if any), but if you put a euro coin in the slot, the lights will come on so you can see what you're missing.

a) We have no euro coins; and b) we have no burning desire to see what €1 buys.

We see this on the road quite a lot. We have no idea what it means until we can get Internet access and do a search, but it turns out to be the name of a Catalan cycling magazine. (Published in both Català and English: see for details.)

If you Google for "Coll de la Ganga", there is nothing on the first two results pages that isn't entirely about cyclists looking for hilly rides!

Over the hills and far away. Is that the sea in the distance?

Amanda prefers to take the downhills at a much more sedate pace than me, so every so often I stop and wait for her to catch up. Going uphill, of course, is quite a different story.

Yes, that's definitely the sea now!

We take the beach path into Palamós

Look at all the blue sky, too! It's not been totally dry at all times, but mostly. At last, a good day for cycling.

Can't complain about the view from the hotel room either.

Mark texts us: as this is their home town, would we like to meet them for a drink before dinner? Sounds a fine idea, so he gives us the location of a place just a few minutes walk from the hotel.

We have a nice chat and a glass or two of wine, and then they insist on paying for that too!

For dinner, we're feeling quite tired and the hotel has what is supposed to be a decent restaurant, so we decide we'll just eat there. It's ok but not outstanding; certainly not up to the standard that Roy set. We forget to mention that we're hotel guests, so they don't offer us the slightly cheaper menu option that we should be entitled to, but we'd probably not have chosen it anyway so no big deal.

Goodnight Palamós.

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