Another long ride. My route, I had hoped, would take me on a service road, an old N route, alongside the new Autovia. However, I discovered that the old N route invariably was now the Autovia and what I was left with was rough gravel tracks alongside the Autovia, which are hard work and not particularly suited to my Moulton New Series Speed. So, the morning was slow and slogging hard work, Lunchtime, I recalculated and worked out a route on minor roads that were paved, and made decent progress, albeit with a constant headwind.
Valladolid is a lively place in its centre, as well as historic and monumental. Even more livelier on the 8th September, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, a convenient 9 months after the Immaculate Conception on 8th December. You have to give it to the Catholics, they knew their gestation cycles ! So, all of Spain today is on holiday and out and about the bars, and presumably the churches, celebrating the feast. This is very evident in Valladolid where there have been hordes of people out and about this evening.
Valladolid, in the centre, is lovely. But the outskirts are grim, industrial, decrepit, shambolic. If you are ever visiting, persevere, because the old centre is worth a visit,
Tomorrow, Thursday 9th September, is on to Salamanca, with a pause for a two night stay in the Parador de Salamanca. It better be good, because it is costing an arm and a leg ! I will report in full detail !
Cycling in rural Spain is a delight. Except for the headwind. The roads, when I am on them and not on dirt / gravel tracks, which I will make sure to avoid from now on, are well kept and quiet. I guess most of the traffic heads for the Autovias and other main roads. Given that it is a huge country, I can get lost out in the countryside and not see a car or a person for hours. I see other cyclists sometimes but they are invariably of the carbon frame / lycra type. And going much faster than me. But, I console myself with the thought that what I am riding will buy three or four of what carbon blingy thing they are riding, and also by the thought that for the most part I am probably three times the age of the rider who swishes past me. Let's see how they are at 67. I like to feel just slightly complacent ! Oh, and by the way, Spanish cyclists don't ring their bell. How I mutter under my breath as one of these Spanish lithe youths all clad in lycra passes me with no warning.