Flew to Gibraltar this morning… early… up at 2am and made my way to Gatwick airport to catch the flight at 6.20.
Arrived at the apartment block and down to visit with Jill and John. It was John’s 85th birthday last Friday so was very pleased to be able to give him his card and prezzie from us. He seemed pretty pleased with it so all good. Jill and I then went along to my apartment to pick up a laptop that I want to take with me to the US. Met the people who are renting this week and they were very gracious in letting me in to get the laptop, I felt a bit awkward disturbing their holiday. I also wanted to pick up a leather jacket, which I thought was outside the flat in a storage box we have there, but no, its in the other cupboard in the apartment so have to go back in… sigh!
Jill then plied me with sandwiches and insisted in making an extra one to take on my journey. Then she gave me a lift to the garage where the bike is kept. Once there I got all the bags sorted then rode back to Both Worlds to pack up my clothes etc.
Am finally on the road by 2pm which is not too bad, but I need to ride about 200 miles today to give me enough time for a reasonably leisurely ride to Santander.
A huge thank you to Jill for all her help and the delicious sandwiches, I think I didn’t show my appreciation properly when I left, was starting to get a little anxious about the time.
It is incredibly hot.. I mean HOT!! I also picked up a pair of sunglasses on my way out of the house this morning and now realise they are the wrong ones for wearing with a helmet as they are squashed onto my head and are giving me a headache. I stop at Carrefour in La Linea and pick up a cheap pair of sunnies, shorts, shoes and socks and get changed. That’s better.
Stop for petrol and soon on the road to Santander which will take me via Seville; I aim to get way past Seville before I stop for the night.
It really is like riding in a Bessemer Converter, (just showing off my encyclopaedic knowledge of steel manufacture there!). The air is actually burning my skin… ouch! I have to stop again to sit in the shade for a few minutes, just to try and cool off.
The bike is red hot and, as usual, is slowly cooking my right leg. Back on the road and coming into Seville I begin to feel a bit odd, (yes I know), am finding it difficult to breathe and try taking deep breaths. I think it might be the beginnings of heat stroke as it is incredibly hot, even the spaniards in the petrol station were remarking on it.
As I come into Seville I’m just in time to hit the rush hour traffic… OMG the pain of the heat on my leg, I can’t breath properly and now I can’t get off this 3 lane carriageway that is chocka block with traffic and approaching a huge suspension bridge up ahead… all I can think about is getting off this @£$%^&&* bike and sitting in the shade. I manage to squeeze my way through and the road begins to clear up ahead. Soon I am out the other side of Seville and up ahead is a petrol station; at last I am able to get off this road and this bike. As I pull into the station there is a hostel on the right. Ok am going to see if they have a room. Yay.. they do… €30 for a single room, very good. I suspect it is going to be grotty but I just don’t care at this point. Unpack the bags and make my way upstairs to my room. Am very pleasantly surprised to find a small, very clean room, ensuite with air conditioning to boot… wow am impressed and very grateful to crank up the AC and jump in the shower… ahhhh that’s better.
I’m in room number 13, which just happens to be my lucky number so am very happy.
After the freshen up am feeling 100% again and make my way down for some dinner. Am very happy to get into bed for a early night so out for the count by 9pm.
In the end am only able to ride 135 miles today, so up early and out on the road. It’s exactly 500 miles to Santander from here so hopefully can break the back of that tomorrow… am aiming for around 300 miles tomorrow and then 200 on Wednesday to get to the ferry on time weds.
Think I managed to catch a bit of a suntan….
Cooked leg anyone????