Day 15 - Looks good on paper

27 December 2021

I wake up. Surf crashing. No. Thunder. Rain. The sort of weather that keeps you in bed.

If you do nothing you feel more tired. Inactivity breeds fatigue. There is satisfying fatigue to a hard day. A dissatisfying weariness to doing nothing. I can’t wait to ride.

Breakfast early. Post Office to send some things we don’t need back to Australia. The rain has cleared. Load up. Check out. On the road.

There are a few hills today. 25 km should be a nice way to get back into a rhythm. The first 5 km are done quickly. There is a hill looming. A few. They look OK on paper.

Paper. The incline is impressive. The ride is stunning. The incline taxing. Push on. Walk the bikes where necessary. The track gets rougher. Still, we go up. Rest often. If the first 5 km were easy, the second solid work.

The trip plans show mostly asphalt. Some unpaved. As we finally start the downhill I miss a turn. Was there a turn? Go back. The map shows a turn. It is a hole in the scrub. Through we go. Mud. Blackberry bushes. More uphill. Grueling stuff.

“Why think about that when all the golden land's ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?” ― Jack Kerouac

Get to the top and break out into someone’s vineyard. Coast down to the river and take a breather. Shell suddenly wants to be part of the route planning. Her legs are all scratched up. Covered in mud. I don’t argue.

I want to be with you. It is as simple and as complicated as it gets’ - Charles Bukowski

Cruise the flat along the river. One last climb. Short but steep. Some riding. Some pushing. The locals give us knowing smiles. A few cheer. We get to the summit. Amazing campground overlooking the beach and Zarautz. Not our campground. Ours down near town. On the beach.

We coast down the huge hill. Wind our way to the campground. Shut. I am not climbing the hill to the other campground.

We eat a late lunch which is also dinner at Zazpi in Arautz. Two glasses of Crizana. Book a cheap place that will also lodge our bikes.

Today was tough. Crushing inclines and offroad work that was not on the route plan. I feel great. Exhausted. But great. It didn’t look this tough on paper.

We need to find more campsites. Wild camping is not allowed here. The place is so hilly it is hard to find a spot anyway. Portugal is calling. There are mountains in the way.

A short trip tomorrow. A few days and we will be in Bilbao. With Shell’s input. I am sure she can move mountains to make the journey flat.

Today's ride -


  1. That's one of the days you were talking about in the first blogs. How good. Shell on the planning. Will be interested to note any subtle changes in the blog. Keep it up guys. Loving the ethic and blog.

    1. Cheers GWR. Expecting things to be much smoother here on in.


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