Europe End-to-End 2010

Day Twenty-Two - Wednesday 25th August

Jerez to Salamanca, both in Spain

Leisurely start, after all I know the road (return journey) and where I am going to stay. Damned cobbles again supplemented by some joke road repairs, navigate my way out of town passing the giant Michelin Man complete with crash helmet on the last roundabout. I had forgotten how boring the road was - well the middle bit is OK as you sweep up and down a minor range of hills, the engineering is spectacular. Sometimes you can see the road for 20 mls ahead as it dives down, over a bridge crossing a gorge and then climbs up the other side. Care as you climb up, I have sufficient power to weight to maintain my 75/80 mph cruise but trucks are down to 30 mph in lane one, although normally they turn on their hazard warning lights to give you a clue that they are nearly stationary. On some flat empty sections you can see why they used to (still do?) film ‘westerns’ here. There are a few cows in the fields, but very few but I notice a group in an enclosure and in the muddy patch next to their water trough are a group of 8/12 cranes? Crisis - diversion! Don’t panic if all fails follow the trucks, for 10’ish miles we follow the old - pre EU funded highway road. We (the UK) could have had these highways as well but the thought of ‘Funded by the EU’ signs along the A11 Duelling would of course have weakened (by perception) the powers of the Westminster Government. So we have potholes and are still saving up for the A11! Back on the main road - now pass the trucks!

Salamanca 10 mls - next fuel stop to top up ready for tomorrow. I have encountered a number of ‘attended’ fuel stations, mainly I think Repsol although when the operative arrives he looks (always male - no emancipation here!) blankly at my bike, when loaded there is no visible fuelling point.

The drill is always the same at my point of rest - rehydrate, unload bike, shower and stand (if available, if not open window!!) in front of air con and then lie until all normal again - about 10 mins. Sort kit and prep anything for the bike, now dinner. This evening was exceptional (make the most of it there will be NO dinner tomorrow!)- vegetable lasagne, salmon with mushroom sauce and fruit salad, slight glitch here as the afters was a classic Faulty Towers saying ‘but chef has already opened the tin’! Plus a bottle of wine (traded some of mine with the next table for an extra round of coffee) all for £9.50! Type these notes up and eMail them to Rosemary. On my way in this evening I met the most helpful man I saw on my last visit, he told me that tomorrow there was a big problem ---- very hot, African hot, I could have done without that piece of gen!

Ps - Service warning light came on the bike today, 6000 mls since I left Holt!

Travelled today 350 miles
Total distance covered 5768 miles

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