Day 45 - The road to Spain

26 January 2022

Slept bad. Again. I don’t like where we are staying. I can’t wait to leave. I can’t put my finger on why I don’t like this place. It is not the town. It is the room. Shell doesn’t like it either.

Porridge and on the road at 9.00 am. 50 km to Vila Real de Santo António. Ferry crossing and we are back in Spain.

15 km in my pedal comes off. We are running Shimano XT PD-T8000 pedals. Bulletproof. One of the most reliable pedals you can get. Nothing happened. I stopped on the side of the road to let Shell pass. Off it came.

A quick look showed the axle had sheared the bearing. We carry spares, but not spare pedals. Shell has a quick look. Nearest bike shop is 6 km away. Relief. Shell then jumps on Uber and books a van. While I was standing around frustrated, looking at the pedal for answers, she was putting plans in place.

“Philosophy without action is the ruin of the soul. One brave deed is worth a hundred books, a thousand theories, a million words. Now as always we need heroes. And heroines! Down with the passive and the limp.” ― Edward Abbey

We loaded up the van with my bike. Shell road off to meet me in Olhāo. The first bike shop was closed. The second bike shop was closed. The third bike shop was closed. Despair. The last place, On The Rocks Bike shop is open.

They do not have the axle to fix the Shimano. Two options. New pedals fitted by 5.00 pm today or wait until a delivery tomorrow for the axle. I go with the first. NUA tells me this is all under warranty. I can get the axle and pedal fitted in Seville.

We book a place in Olhāo. Check-in. Shower and head out for lunch. Shell could not be happier. This is what she loves. Spontaneous. Change of plans. The possibility of the unknown.

She is right. We walk through Olhāo. If my pedal had not came off, we would never have seen this place. Walking around we find a place that is packed. Sit down and eat one of the best meals I can remember. No menu. Just fish grilled over coals.

I need to slow down. It is cliché, but it is really about the journey. I set my sights on the next location and often forget the journey. Sitting here at lunch, forced break, these are the best times. Unplanned. Unexpected. Always these moments are the ones best recalled.

I grab a bottle of wine to have on the balcony. There is a bar upstairs. Maybe later we will have a look. Shell is reading. She gets it. More than me, she gets it. I need to just focus on what I am doing, not on where I am going.

“So I find words I never thought to speak

In streets I never thought I should revisit

When I left my body on a distant shore.”

― T.S. Eliot


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