Day 44 – Bilbao to Burgos (Pais Vasco)(Ibericas)

I was expecting to feel like shit this morning, but instead I was encouraged by yesterday’s effort. I didn’t hang around Bilbao too long as the weather wasn’t looking to great and I wanted another big day. Coffee and go was my attitude.

However, I did have my 1st near life experience that morning when I had a close run in with a big ass lorry on an 11% gradient hill. My first reacted was to yell ‘OOOOH FUCK!!!’ When I realised that we were on a collision course. I gave it a big swerve and got the expected honks from the lorry. It wasn’t even as if I was cycling dangerous, but bike brakes can only stop you so much when your going down hills like that. Anyways ‘the dream lives on’

From Bilbao I was heading south before turning towards Portugal. It would mean I was heading into the Ibericas mountain range for the 1st time. Apart from carrying all my bags up them, cycling I. The mountainous terrain is by far my favourite. The scenery is 100% phenomenal, you get a real sense of accomplishment when you crest the summit of one of these bad boys and the amount of euphoria and adrenaline that surges through my veins I get when I’m flying down the side of a mountain, by far surpasses anything that any law would legally allow a human experience.

I ride my my for a total of 9 hours today and covered another 189km, and gained 2413 meters in altitude. It wasn’t exactly all a piece of cake and I had to stop somewhere in there middle of it all for a sleep. It was in a village called Frais, which had a crumbling castle at the top of its only big hill. There was also a local convenience shop. Inside the shop I got speaking to a woman who was born in Leicester, who told me of a near by natural pool. I went to check it out. It had a small waterfall, which cascaded into the side of it. The water was so clear and was FREEEEEEZING cold. I fucking hate the cold, so I couldn’t properly enjoy being in it for too long.

Rejouvinated by my sleep and ice bath, I took to the mountains once more with a wide smile on my face. My next challenge that I would come up against before Burgos, was Mont Oña. It wasn’t very steep at any point, but it was LOOOOOOONG and eventually took me over 1000 meters above sea level. Once I got to the top, the view was unobstructed for as far as the eye could see. That meant not only a stunning scenery, but it meant I had conquered my last mountain of the day and was ready for a long coast into Burgos.

By the time I arrived, I had sore buns. It was 11pm and I had enough time for a chat with my man Rupert. It made me miss the mother fucker a lot. I cycled to the edge of town and found a spot to camp. I consumed a small feast and passed out.

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