The final day of the trip was a short, sunny, easy hop up to Gijón. Just as well we had all day to do it: just north of Oviedo our intended back-roads route was closed (pic). It was a rally – not one by Extinction Rebellion, but a car and motorcycle one. Somehow the spectators didn’t look like climate change protesters.
So, we had to backtrack, sidetrack, and generally farmtrack our way around to regain our route (pic).
Nigel’s Garmin came up with the suggestions, which was fortunate, as our requests for directions from the spectators might have been drowned out by the roaring and whining of engines.
And of me.
Delays notwithstanding, we got to Gijón shortly after noon, finding our way up a headland to the lighthouse (pic) that we’d earmarked as the ceremonial end of the trip. There were some spectacular views of the definitive features of the landscape around the city, familiar to geologists: oil depots, mining works and chemical factories.
Anyway, here we are, the trip finished, and a beer and picnic lunch in prospect, so we’re entitled to look happy (pic).
We rolled downhill into the city centre and then cruised along its now-familiar Spanish-style segregated cycleways to the seafront by the Old Town (pic). We’ve checked into the hotel. What to do now, with the trip finished and only restaurants, bars and two beaches at our disposal…?
I’m a little sad to be finishing this trip, because it’s been (almost) pure joy from start to finish: fine cycling on largely smooth, quiet, fast roads with courteous drivers; beautiful historic squares for lunch and dinner; coffee and pastry stops; tapas; lively and friendly bars; inexpensive and tasty menús del día…
A memorable, thoroughly successful trip, and I’ll be back cycling in Spain soon. Possibly on a less laden bike.
Miles today: 30
Miles since Cádiz: 646
No of days riding: 10
No of rest days: 3
No of punctures: 3 (of which two from same thorn)
No of wasp stings: 0.5 (half-thwarted by T-shirt)
No of flea bites: 1 (bar in Cáceres)
No of beers: 32
No of coffees: 28
Best views: El Cordal, Pola de Lena
Best beer: Four Lions APA, León
Best meal: Seafood soup/ Pork shoulder/ Strawberries and cream, Asturias–León border
Best experience: Cider Alley, Oviedo
Value of trip: Priceless