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Fwd: Wednesday 14th July - VDD

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  • ianpbrown@talktalk.net
    ... ery hot night, disturbed by mosquitos buzzing about, so needless to say a it bitten in the morning. Heavy drizzle still in evidence, continuing from last
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2010
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: colin.p.obrien@...
      To: Peter O'Brien <peter.obrien@...>; Das Wood <das.wood@...>
      CC: Ian and Steff Brown <ianpbrown@...>; colin.r.baxter@...
      Sent: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 22:10
      Subject: Wednesday 14th July - VDD

      Very hot night, disturbed by mosquitos buzzing about, so needless to say a
      bit bitten in the morning.
      Heavy drizzle still in evidence, continuing from last night. Breakfast not
      available until 8:30am and simple prepackaged items and toast. Got to
      speaking to an older British gent with a keen interest in trains (special
      narrow gauge Feve railway here with over a 100 stations along the coast,
      which takes bikes). Although he had a van with him, he had a Dahon folder
      in the back (and a Brompton at home) so he was not at all surprised by me
      touring on a Bike Friday. Most people's response is to ask whether the
      small wheels make it harder work (wish I had that as an excuse, but not
      Now in fairly populated areas down by the coast and a lot less mountainous.
      Drizzle soon stopped and temp around 21oC with cycling not too arduous.
      Met up with an English lad on the road, who was also cycling from St Malo
      to Santander, although he had set off on the Thursday and was camping. He
      was on a racer and travelling with only 2 panniers so to make room for tent
      and sleeping bag he basically had only the clothes he was standing in! We
      said we'd see him on the Ferry, hopefully after a shower!
      Took a wrong turning (up a long hill) at Solares and had to retrace our
      steps a bit, but mostly uneventful. One of my knees started to ache
      continually on the climbs so took some ibruprofen - hopefully a day's rest
      will help it.
      Cycled into the centre of Santander's main shopping street and despite road
      signs and google map assistance from Blackberry, had our usual problem
      locating a Hotel. They just don't label them for some reason, and there are
      so many appartment blocks that look like hotels. In the end we lucked on a
      2 star, the "Picos d'Europa", up a little side street off the main drag ...
      and very cheap!
      Finishing cycling at 2:30 pm was a real novelty!
      Stats for today: 57.6km, 3hrs 20min in saddle (although think this includes
      walking round town looking for hotels when we were pushing the bikes on the
      pavement), 17.2km/hr avg speed, 610m ascent.
      After quick shower we went out for a beer and a snack (ordered "blind" as a
      Bocadillo Hamburguesa, but as it turned out it is otherwise known as a
      burger in a bun). Still overcast, but nice to sit in the central shopping
      area and watch the world go by.
      We walked down to the port area with its marina of yachts, attractive
      buildings and bizarre piped choral singing. Watched a large Brittany Ferry
      depart and had a brief moment of panic that we might have been a day out in
      our reckoning and it was ours!
      Obviously no food available until 9pm so headed back to hotel to watch Tour
      de France and take a short siesta. Resurfaced at 8pm to find the main drag
      absolutely packed with people - we have come to conclusion that since
      everyone lives in appartments all they can do is either promenade or sit
      and watch people promenade. Found a place where we could sit and have.
      Abeer and inbsisted on a grande to much consternation (lunch time beer was
      in small wine glasses) so got it delivered in a half litre stein.
      Used the hotel "cafeteria" for evening meal. Platos combinados of fried
      food plus salad plus a bottle of house wine (at 3 Euros!) Polished off with
      the spanish "flan".
      Walked up street for a constitutional but patently the promenading period
      between 8 and 10 was finished. Headed back to hotel to watch Die Hard in
      Colin O'Brien
      Operations Excellence Process Manager
      (Via Blackberry)
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