A lightweight fixed-gear bike tour of France and Spain

The Spanish Meseta

The last few days, from Estella to where we are now, 70km east of Leon, have been spent on the flat, straight roads and under the hot sun of Spain’s central plain, the meseta. Despite what you may have heard, the rain in Spain falls mostly not on the plain. The earth is dry here, baked by the sun, so much so that we have trouble getting our tent stakes in the ground. A few nights ago we had to tie one of the corners of the tent to one of our bikes, as it was impossible to stake out that corner!
The riding has been mainly uninteresting. Huge flat fields of wheat, lots of churches and lots of wind farms. Our route took us throughy the two small cities of Logrono and Burgos. In Burgos we stayed with an incredibly fun and nice Welshman named Jeremy. He had some great stories and plenty to say, about everything.
We explored the old part of burgos, the most interesting bit being the enourmous gothic cathedral. The vast majority of churches in Spain fall into two categories. One set are closed o the public. The other main set have an entrance fee, the discounted price for pilgrims ranging between 1 and 4 euros. We, for reasons of both budget and principle, refuse to pay to go into the churches. We haven’t payed for a single “touristy” thing the whole trip. The Burgos cathedral had a ticket office that was a little ways from the entrance of the church. We walked into the church to see if there were any parts available to the general, unpaying public. There was, and from there you could catch a glimpse of the main part of the cathedral. There was even a video shwing the highlights of the cathedral. We supposed it was to show you what you were missing. There was a man in a glass cubicle watching as people walked in, but he didn’t seem to be checking tickets. A big tour group arrived and we decided to walk in with them. We didn’t really think that we might stand out among a group of aging Japanese tourists, even though Rob was a head taller than any of them, and adie was a veritable giant! We thougt the church and attached museam were great, well worth the price!
Not much of interest since then, we will post again as soon as possible.


5 responses

  1. jeremy

    hi lads,

    glad you enjoyed your stay. i have nominated you and awarded you the first prize in both the boys with the best appetite (typical cyclists appetite!), and leaving the house tidiest categories in my personal oscars. it was a pleasure and you’re very welcome anytime you’re in spain.

    shame about the boring route; by now you must be in the pretty bits again, from astorga on …… its really lovely in el bierzo and into galicia. i hope you enjoy it.

    well, take care guys and have fun and do it all again next year! i can recommend you to go east. czech, slovakia, hungary even poland in the mountains ………. jeremy

    May 13, 2011 at 8:47 am

    • Hey Jeremy,
      We are honored to be the recipients of such august and respected awards! From astorga to Santiago has been great, majestic scenery etc, but tough on the old legs. We are heading to fisterre and the a coruna, and we plan on taking our time!

      Adie and Rob

      May 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  2. Hi!
    It’s been a while since we’ve met in Bruges. I have kept following your blog, looks really good! Nice trip, it makes me remember my pilgrimage of 2 years ago 🙂
    Watch out in the descent of the Cruzzo Ferro! It’s not so nice if you fall at 62km/h…
    Keep up the good work!
    What’s after Santiago?

    May 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    • Hey wouter, so far we have been pretty lucky, all we got from that descent was some very cold fingers. Great to hear from you, after Santiago we head to finisterre then to al Corina where we take a bus to Santander. From there we have a ferry to plymouth where we cycle back to adie’s house near delabole. That’s currently the plann
      and should take us to the very end.

      May 17, 2011 at 7:05 am

    • By the way Wouter, how did you fall and what was the damage? Sounds nasty!

      May 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

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