Monday, July 30, 2012

Torros and Vacas in Navarra

Day 1: Pamplona – Hondarribia
Time: 5:44:17
Distance: 112.2km
Average Speed 19.5 km/h

I spent the weekend in Pamplona with my friends Jose and Jacintha and their new arrival David. Jose is from  Pamplona originally so they were having David's christening nearby in his mother's village of Larraga. I arrived a week late for the christening but still got a chance to go to Larraga. After eating Jose's mother's magnificent paella we went to the village square to watch a bull show. In this type of show the bull survives. It consists of a few acrobats teasing him and doing somersaults over his head. After the show we drove to Puente la Reina for another bull festival. This one had a running of the bulls which I decided to run in. It doesn't have anywhere near the danger factor of San Fermin in Pamplona but it was a good laugh. There are only 2 young bulls and they run up and down the same street passing the town square for around an hour. Since the town is smaller a lot less people take part which makes things safer.

And so to the cycle. Despite the advice of my hosts I still managed to get lost while I was leaving Pamplona after taking a wrong turn. I think I was looking forward to starting the trip a bit too much and didn't pay proper attention to the street signs. Pamplona must be the 10th city I've had trouble getting out of. Ending up in industrial estates and on huge motorways is never fun. After almost an hour I ended up on the right road signposted as Irun and France. Because all the tunnels on the road are quite narrow and prohibited bikes I had to use service roads to bypass them but I don't think this added too much time to the journey. 
I arrived in the Basque town of Irun at around 7pm. I had been considering going on to San Sebastian but the city is 23km west. I couldn't justify doing an extra 23km today and the same in the morning in an easterly direction to see a town I'd already been to so I decided to go a short bit North of Irun to Hondarribia. I didn't eat much during the cycle so I bought a lot for dinner in the shop next to the camp site. 3 salchichas de ave, a head of brocolli, 5 eggs and half a baguette preceded by 1/2 litre of milk and washed down with wine. There's a beach up the road so I'll go for a swim before I take off tomorrow.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cycling From Spain to Ireland

I have been living in in the town of SariƱena, Spain for the last 7 months teaching English. The time has now come to return to Ireland and I have decided to make the trip by bike. I'm planning on starting from Pamplona on July 30th and reaching Cherbourg in the North of France by August 10th. Then I'll take the boat to Rosslare and make the 2 day trip up to my village of Multyfarnham. I'll be taking a tent so I can camp in rural areas and when I'm in cities hopefully I can stay with couchsurfers ( I'll try to post something on this blog for every day of the trip.