I set out at 7:30am on Sunday morning and then had a very frustrating hour and a quarter trying to find my way out of Barcelona. All the carefully typed directions that made perfect sense on Saturday night looked like complete gibberish by Sunday and the Barcelona authorities seem to design road signs to confuse any potential enemy, rather than to provide useful information for the traveller.
After finding my way out of the city there were long, steady climbs to Sant Celoni and some more challenging ones In the hills just south of Girona. But it was not as challenging for me as for the young guy cycling up the the opposite side of the road with a rucksack on his back, a set of window blinds in one hand and a ladder balanced across his handlebars in the other!
The N2 road from Girona northwards was very busy with cars and trucks but has a wide shoulder in most places. Scenery ranged from spectacular wooded gorges to industrial grot and at one point I accidentally ended up on the A2 – where cyclists are not allowed, so had to walk back 800 yards or so along the drainage trench. However, feeling good, I decided to press on into France. I crossed the French border at 6pm, calling Sally while I was at the highest point in the climb over the Pyrenees in the busy town of El Perthus,
After a 5 mile descent, I turned right and headed for the coast, finding a room at the Hotel du Port in St Cyprien at about 7:45. I had covered 140 miles at an average speed of 12 mph and was ready for a bath and dinner.
L’Aquarium restaurant provided the latter – fish soup, turbot and creme caramel, washed down with a glass of rose and a dessert wine. I slept well!
The weather had been good all day, the temperature reaching about 25 C. The only problem with the bike was having to stop a couple it times to tighten a cotter pin on the right hand pedal crank. Somewhere along the way I need to find a fix for that. The search for a tube of blue Locktite starts today, but in not likely to find it cycling along the coast to Narbonne. Maybe when I turn left towards Carcassonne….