Saturday, November 10, 2018

8th November (raining and mild) 10 km

Woke at 7.30am to pouring rain. Today we only have to ride 10kms to our hotel for the next three nights, but if possible, we would prefer not to get wet. I know, I know, there are people out there saying “Toughen up and That’s a first world problem” and you’re correct. But I still prefer to stay dry over getting wet. The hotel we are staying in is beautifully decorated and very well laid out, however, why would you put such an effort into something like that and slip up on something as simple as making sure that you had soundproofing between your walls. I don’t wish to hear every word of a conversation in the next room, especially in Spanish. If I have to listen to somebody, I want to at least know what they’re saying.
Breakfast at the hotel cost us Euro 10 for the two of us. Not a lot to some, but what they supplied was minimal and mostly stale. For us it was a big step up from what we would normally pay, but in the end we would rather have had our usual muesli and fruit breakfast – along with the 3 euro price tag.  Our fly sheet drying over the bath/shower, we blogged, used the terrible internet coverage and prepared to venture out into the now terrible weather. As I sit typing this I am reminded of how Scott must have felt on his last day attempting to reach the Antarctic. Venturing out in this whiteout, I mean hailstorm, well, storm….okay, heavy downpour, perhaps drizzle….whatever…I am reminded of hardship….yes…and how resilient it makes us.
Checkout time was 12pm. The weather was bad. This was the final push. A short 10km ride to Seville and that would be the cycling part of our journey completed. Although it was 19 degrees, it was near whiteout conditions. We loaded our trusty mounts, but then felt the need for a coffee from the hotel bar. It was only delaying the inevitable. As we sat gazing into each other’s eyes, I thought of the many adventures we have undertaken over the years. A tear slid slowly into the corner of my eye. The kids, my God, how were they to know just how dangerous this final stage could be. Bad enough on a normal day coping with cobbled streets, but in the wet with tyres slipping and sliding, cars inches from our bodies, it all made for tension on a massive scale and with death, always a possibility, I had to pull myself together for fear of Julia picking up on those vibes. After all she wants a real man, not a snivelling pussy.

Ju here – We haven’t had much rain on this tour, in fact we have been incredibly lucky with the weather.  However, we did come prepared with not only good rainjackets, but also rain pants and some fancy plastic overboots for our shoes which we got from a Chinese online store for $20.  I didn’t think they would last the tour, but because we’ve only worn them twice, they have.  We decided for some strange reason to not put our pants and plastic overboots on as we left the hotel this morning.  Our reasoning was that if it was too bad, we would take shelter in the underground carpark of the shopping centre where Burger King was situated.  That was only 1 km away and how wet could one get in just one km?  It turns out you could get very wet, especially when you had to ride through puddles which absolutely drenched our shoes and socks.  We arrived in the carpark in just a few minutes, soaking wet and annoyed at ourselves.
While I got my towel out and dried off my pants and got out some dry socks, the rain decided to ease off.  Pete decided we should go for it – I told him I’d learned my lesson and was putting my pants and overboots on.  I think he was determined to prove he wasn’t a snivelling pussy and decided not to – let’s hope he doesn’t end up with a snivelling cold!  So once I’d done this, we took off again for our next shopping centre.  Had a few navigation issues and just as we were about a km from the next shopping complex, down came the rain again.  I didn’t mind, I was nice and dry and warm.
Meeting up with Santiago and Ebana was a great surprise!

We had come to this shopping centre as it contained somewhere to purchase camping gas and to grab a bite to eat, so we did just that. After filling up, we were about to get some supplies from the supermarket when we ran into Ebana, who we had met cycling with Santiago a week ago. They were having coffee, so we joined them and Santiago’s friend, Juan, from Buenos Aires, who married a local woman and now resides here. It was great to see them again and we had a good chat and exchanged phone numbers in case we can get together before we all go our separate ways.
We then finally got to cycle the last few kms without any rain, to our next accommodation in the middle of Seville.  Our host for the next few days is Blas, a very nice guy, who helped us in with our gear, made us a tea and coffee and showed us to our upstairs apartment.  We have a bedroom and bathroom on the third floor and a small kitchenette and outdoor roof space on the fourth floor.  It is a real treat to be staying in an authentic Spanish house in the old part of Seville.
Our accommodation for the next three nights
The view from our terrace
Another view from our terrace
Seville at night

We finished some canned food for our dinner, which was a mistake for me because I didn’t feel too well after eating it.  Decided to go for a walk through the city anyway and felt a lot better after that.  It is a beautiful city with many magnificent buildings and we are looking forward to seeing it in the daylight……and hopefully nice weather.

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