Day 4 – Weather the weather…. Whatever

Again up early to try and get away…. Didn’t bother with the wee beasties and the phone etc all charged up overnight so just need to get brekkie, pack the bike and go…. Errrrr… Where’s the bike keys? OMFG, where have I put them… Nope not in the room, think I last saw them when I was checking in and put my helmet and gloves on the chair in reception.  Ask at reception but no keys handed in.  The woman in charge asks where my bike is? “outside in the car park”. Next thing she is marching outside so I follow looking and feeling totally stupid.  Get to the bike and the keys are sitting on top of the pack in plain sight…. All night – Seriously!!! I’m getting old.

So after all that kerfuffle it’s now 9.30 and I manage to get away at 10.  I have discovered that EE now make one pay for data whilst roaming, so have bought a package, which allows me to use one of the navigation apps on my phone so should be able to find my way now.  I have set up the route to Andorra la Vella and the app gives me several options as to the type of route I want.  I have selected scenic and wait with breath baited.

It’s a beautiful day, very warm and sunny… Cracking.  Apart from a few misunderstandings the app is actually brilliant, the only downside is that I don’t have any way to attach my phone to the bike so I have to keep the phone in my pocket, which means I can’t see the screen. The app does give me plenty of warning for each turn… Better than my garmin!  I also have a gadget to allow me to charge the phone on the bike while I’m using it…. However it doesn’t seem to be working 🙁

The route is fantastic… Lots of great riding and I really am enjoying it.

After about 60 miles am getting serious bum ache, despite the new air pad, I think it’s because I don’t have any bum left so it makes the base of my spine really painful if I sit for too long.  Eventually I have to stop, but, unfortunately the cafe I choose doesn’t seem to have any food, only drinks. Never mind, I sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy a large cappucino and the break.

Start ascending into the Pyrenees and the roads are becoming twistier; I switch on the camera to capture the fantastic ride.  All is going great when suddenly it routes me up a goat track… Well not quite, but it is very narrow, steep and extremely twisty… No don’t like it.  Soon I’m back on a normal road and very happy to be so.  Still climbing upwards I stop at this town, Massat, for a coffee and something to eat:

and discover the camera hasn’t been on so no record of the fabulous roads I’ve been riding this morning… boo  hoo.

 It’s starting to get a bit chilly now, as I climb higher, and cloudier; well we know what that means, no sooner have I left Massat than the app starts me up another Goat path… oooh not happy about that and what’s worse is that about a mile later it starts to pelt it down. I spend at least 15 minutes climbing into the romper suit and covering all the bags.  That’s it, methinks, no more scenic today, I just want to get there in one piece. I change to the fast route and even though it doesn’t take me onto a motorway, it does at least leave the goats alone.
Once I’m back on the non goat herd roads the rain stops and the sun comes out, but I’m not changing out of the wetgear, I’ve been over the Pyrenees before!!!  Onwards and upwards. As I get to about 1000m elevation it starts to rain again, like monsoon, big fat drops coming down in rods and the road is awash in places.  I pass 2035m so am in the mile high plus club again and soon crossing the border into Andorra… not getting the camera out in this!!
When the road starts to drop down towards the city the rain stops…. great.  I’m a bit surprised I have not had any instructions from  the app for a little while so assume the phone battery is dead.  I head for centre ville and park the bike, it’s now 7pm so not too bad. Yep the battery is dead and no signal on my ipad, how am I going to find the hotel? I’m pretty sure it is in the centre, so decide to ride around looking for it, then it starts raining again, seriously honking it down… deep joy.  After a while I park again to see if I can ask someone, then I spot a city map on a billboard so have a look.  The city is actually the size of a small town so everything is pretty much in the centre, however my hotel is on the other side. Well to cut a long story short I was almost ready to give up and find another room when I see a sign for it… hurrah… and its only 9pm!!!  
Hotel is ok, not the best but clean and the staff are fantastic.  There is underground parking so at least the bike is safe and dry.  They even lend me an umbrella to use when I go out to eat… so friendly.
I ordered pork chop and chips… absolutely enormous… look

I eat what I can and ask for a doggie bag… that pork will do for lunch tomorrow, it’s absolutely delicious.

Off to bed now…….. shopping tomorrow because, as those of you who have read my previous blogs will know… its so cheap in Andorra.  Hehehehe

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One thought on “Day 4 – Weather the weather…. Whatever

  1. Hi Padraigin, it's Jo from Aerograffiti. Great photography and commentary, brings me right back to 2012 when Mark & I rode down to Barcelona. The weather was so bad we skipped going over the Pyrenees but it was glorious once we hit Spain, went over them coming back and it was spectacular! Have you visited Montserrat (Spain)? Really worth it: a monastery balanced on a geographical pink jelly. Anyway I hope it's ok to talk shop so here is a link to a quick vid that shows off the sparkle spray out samples, I took it in sunlight and walked around it so you get angles…. sorry its a bit blair-witch but it's my virgin debut using movie on my slr. Let me know which sample catches your fancy or not! Good riding and hope the sun shines – Jo

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