2135! Groningen

SPECIFICATION SHEET
  • Location
  • Day
  • Km total
  • Height difference total
  • Km partial
  • Height difference partial
  • Groningen,
    The Netherlands
  • 25
  • 2135
  • 16300
  • 495
  • 500
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It’s not easy to write about my trip when I just arrived to Groningen and everything here is beeing exciting for me. Step by step. This is the list:

Lille – Antwerp. 140km. Hostel. Impressed by the bike lanes.
Antwerp – Rotterdam. 105km. Matteo’s house. Love this city.
[4 days break in Rotterdam and Amsterdam]
Rotterdam – Utrecht. 60km. Hostel. Yeah, easy day.
Utrecht – Nowhere. 111km. Airbnb. Throught a nice dark forest, some technical problems.
Nowhere – Groningen. 79km. What? I can’t believe I just arrived.

Lille is a nice student city. I grab a beer with Nico and I understood that I was entering the flemish area. While riding the bike started to bore me, the easy and flat bike lanes started to appear anywhere and the cities suddenly become special, different to what I experienced before. Antwerp is a big Industrial city with the second biggest port of Europe. But then, it cames The Netherlands, and the scale of everything changed. Rotterdam is amazingly different to Spain in respect of the architecture and urbanism. The people talked to me so easily and someone suddenly invited me to a beer when I was waiting for Matteo the first day. And then my cousin Pablo, who is travelling as a crazy around the world, arrived to Rotterdam. And then Guiomar. And we enjoyed the city to the maximun. The sunday Milou was waiting for us in Amsterdam, where I had one of the craziest parties of my life. I could never imagine how nice The Netherlands is. On Monday, with the hang over, I took my bike again from the OMA’s Centraal Station and started my last leg to Groningen. 250 km. Utrecht, Amersfoort, Mappel, Assen and… Groningen.

As I’m excited with how the city works and the people here looks incredibly friendly, I just have to worry about where I’m going to live, which job I’ll find and how I’ll manage to develop my new carrer in physics.

1640! Stern wind, full sails.

SPECIFICATION SHEET
  • Location
  • Day
  • Km total
  • Height difference total
  • Km partial
  • Height difference partial
  • Lille,
    France.
  • 16
  • 1640
  • 15800
  • 640
  • 5400
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The list:
– Poitiers-Tours. 140km. Wild camping.
– Tours-Chartres. 131km. Auberge de jeunesse.
– Chartres-Le Percq (Versailles). 97Km. Airbnb.
– Le Percq-Nowhere2.0. 86km. Wild Camping.
– Nowhere2.0-Nowhere2.0. 122km. Wild Camping.
– Nowhere2.0-Lille. 48km. Nico’s house.

I am beeing extremely lucky, seriously. When I was preparing my trip I studied the clima of the places where I’m passing. I was expecting to have a lot of rain and to cycle into the wind. But I am not. I’m having Spain-like sunny days and I’m going downwind. This is incredibly satisfying. But I know it comes the worst part… Which is also where I am supoussed to live after this trip.

I have been passing throught very beautiful places like Tours, Vendome and Chartres:
img_20160921_174142
img_20160922_111750
img_20160922_181539
Versailles is suppoussed to be fine… But it was so crowd that I couldn’t really enjoy the palace, and, on the other hand, the park is too big that you feel lonely there. I would prefeer to live as a king Phillip V in La Granja instead of as Louis XIV there. Anyway, not a bad place:
img_20160923_174654-01

And today I’m in Lille, which by the moment, from this coffee shop, seems to be a nice city with good people.

On the route appear each time more cicloways, so you can feel you are close to Belgium. The buildings here in Lille are more OMA liked (this is a dutch architect firm that you should know) and in the little towns it is less seen the stone to show more London stock brick like buildings.

Next step? Antwerp and Rotterdam. There I will stop the engine and enjoy some with good people…

Greetings!!

1000km!! Donosti – Poitiers

SPECIFICATION SHEET
  • Location
  • Day
  • Km total
  • Height difference total
  • Km partial
  • Height difference partial
  • Poitiers,
    France
  • 5 to 10
  • 1000
  • 10400
  • 560
  • 5700
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Since I left Madrid 9 days ago I’ve been riding aprox 6 hours and 100km a day. I’ve been sleeping with friends, unknown people, alone in the forest and in hostels. I’ll put it in a list, in (the rare) case it interest you.

Route. Km by bike. Where I slept. Notes.
– Madrid-Cañicosa (Segovia). By car. (Sorry to my fans) too much party the day before.
– Cañicosa – Aranda de Duero. 80km. Sleeping with Marta. Too much sun.
– Aranda – Burgos. 100km. St James’ Way (Camino de Santiago) acomodation.
– Burgos- Vitoria. 123km. Unai’s house. Two flat tyres, so I bought two new tyres.
– Vitoria – Donosti. 124km. Hostel.
– Donosti – Les Landes. 79Km. Wild camping. Rain in torrents.
– Les Landes – Les Landes. 108km. Wild camping. Rain in torrents.
– Les Landes – Bordeaux. 124km. Beltrand’s house. Too many beers at night.
– Bordeaux – Nowhere. 103km. Wild camping.
– Nowhere – Nowhere. 92km. Wild camping. I repaired my bike and some animals moved around my tent at night.
– Nowhere – Poitiers. 60km. Airbnb.

I was not supoussed to do so many kilometers a day, but somedays I am motivated and I just do it. Some other days, I strive to do it because I want to arrive to some place. But I never feel too tired physically, that is not the deal. Well, not except, as I said in the last post:
– The butts. To many time on them.
– The hands. I losed sensibility in two fingers. It appears that a nerve is pressed…
– The legs, as you can imagine, they doesn’t completely agree to work that much everyday. Anyway they are not too whiny.

The real issue is the motivation. This is the main. And, by the moment, I’ve been motivated all the time (including when it rained torrentially or it was too hot) except yesterday, when I went from Nowhere to Nowhere. Nowhere is located between 40km at the south of Poitiers and 120 km at the north of Bordeaux. There you can only find vineyards. A lot of vineyards. Between them some isolated villages without people in them. I really missed the spanish villages with nice people sitted on their streets, fountains and the typical bar “cutre” with cheap but very nice “bocadillos”.

What is really nice here, that we don’t have (too many) in Spain is the paved cycloways. And also we have TOO MUCH more height differences. And less rain, of course.
A representative image of the french wet, flat, bike lanes: pano_20160916_151728-01
And a representative image of what you can find if you don’t prepare enought your route in Spain.
img_20160911_152833

I loved in general the Basque Country. Their cities, their routes, their panoramas and their people. This is a photo of France from Spain, on Jaizkibel. I was not supoussed to go up there but, yes, I was too much motivated.

img_20160915_132819

I don’t have any photos, but I loved Bordeaux too. I thought it would be a typical french turistic small city, but it is not. It is very big, with their streets full of people. And I have been lucky to hang out with some french people living there.

Now I’m planning my next days: Tours, Chartres… But I’m looking forward to visit Versalles and Lille and to arrive to Holland.

Thanks for reading. And thanks to the people who makes my rides more enjoyable by writting me sometimes!!

See you soon!

PREFACE (MAD-DONOSTI)

SPECIFICATION SHEET
  • Location
  • Day
  • Km total
  • Height difference total
  • Km partial
  • Height difference partial
  • San Sebastián,
    Spain
  • 1 to 4
  • 440km
  • 4724m
  • 440km
  • 4724m
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If you knew me, you could expect it. I worked the blog out and then I’m passing on it. Better late than never….
Now I am in San Sebastián, the city of the pintxos. But lets start from the begining… and let me do it carefully to be sure that you don’t get bored. Just think that I wake up early, finish my route at 5-6-7 p.m and then I have to prepare the route of the next day, repair the bicycle, call my mom and stretch the legs walking in the new city where I chose to sleep…

I’m just going to say that it has been easier and more inspiring than expected, and that my butt, legs and hands starts calling my attention…

Bob Dylan The Times They Are A Changin