In contrast to the cool and rain we’d gotten the day before, we woke on Saturday to some really fantastic weather. I was up early and down to breakfast as soon as they opened. No good reason – I wasn’t feeling too great. I snagged the picture here of the sunrise out the window of the hotel restaurant.
My cold that was coming on hadn’t improved. It was coming on gangbusters. I was still up for riding though. Breathing hard in those circumstances can actually make me feel a bit better and I’d come this far… I certainly wasn’t going to be going at 100% though.
We gathered for another group photo before we took off. We were quite the multi-colored bunch that morning. The players, from left: Larry & Cindy, Chris (guide), Celeste (married to Joe over on the right), Julie, Hallie, me, Joe and Jill Jemison. Of the group, I was the only without a Utah connection. All either currently or formerly lived in Park City or Salt Lake. Word of mouth for the Jemison tours is apparently strong there, though I recall Jill mentioning that the Utah ties of this tour group was pretty rare.
The ride for the day was really a great one. Lots of rolling hills, pretty countryside and quaint old villages. Being the weekend, there were a fair number of Spanish riders in small groups out riding as well. Some were enjoying our coffee stop that morning as well.
Our route on this day took us back from the coast at Calella inland to Girona. It was going to be long enough we had time for both a coffee stop and lunch. I wish I could tell you the names of the little towns we pulled into and stopped but since I didn’t write them down at the time, I’ve got my visual memories only. But I do remember we went through Madremanya. I think we had lunch there. Our coffee stop was fairly early on and by the time we got to lunch I was pretty well ready for some food.
At the lunch stop, Jill had arranged to have some salads and pizzas made. Both really hit the spot. I think I had 3 pieces of pizza despite the warning not to eat too much because we’d be climbing after lunch and past tours suggested that people often over ate before doing another one of these 10K-like climbs. We were joined at lunch by a collection of scrappy local cats. At least 3 by my count in and out between our legs. A bunch of scrawny beggars. They seemed to know I’d be an easy mark. When it was apparent the anchovies weren’t all going to be eaten I snagged some and not surprisingly the cats really went for it.
Despite all the pizza, the climb afterward turned out fine. As climbs go, this one was probably one of my favorite of the bunch we’d done. The grade was not steep – just steady. At times I could ride it in 2nd or 3rd gear (middle chain ring). At intervals throughout the climb the road was painted with the word “Hincapie”. Apparently it’s one of his favorite rides and Jill thought it might have been his wife that had painted the encouragement on the road.
At the top of the climb the view was great. I took some pictures but they really don’t do it justice so I haven’t included them here. What you couldn’t see in the pictures was that in the far distance you could see the Mediterranean. Cool.
Dinner on Saturday night was at an excellent creperie. They were made of buckwheat. I had the 4 cheese one. Wow, a whole lotta cheese. Almost too much – but then, you can never have enough cheesy goodness.