Believe it or not, I have lounged on a Spanish beach, soaking up the sun and reading a book. I managed it for about two hours before the mind-numbing boredom got to me.
Hate to say it but it’s an awful long time ago now. Still you do daft things in your youth and I suppose my excuse is that it was part of a cycling trip round the south of Spain. Granada, the Sierra Nevada and the Coast in the height of summer, but hey we had fun. Eight of us, South Cumbria’s finest. None of us spoke Spanish, but one had had a week’s holiday in Portugal so that was assumed to be good enough.
It was, but what you never realise is that when you’re on a push bike you’re going into places that no tourist ever goes to. We went into a bar in a small and beautiful village to discover we were the first Englishmen seen since the days of the Black Prince and they bought £1 note off us to put up behind the bar so they could boast of how cosmopolitan they were.
We took push bikes as part of our weight allowance on the plane, because how many clothes do you need on a cycling holiday? But I did take a can of WD40 so you can see I had my priorities right.
First they flew us into the wrong airport, but it didn’t matter, we just did the trip in the other direction. Not only that but the lass from the airline was so pleased she didn’t have to get eight bikes to the right airport she gave us extra breakfast vouchers.
But it meant that the first night we slept on the floor (in the wrong airport) which was at least under budget. But when we got to Seville the next night we were that shattered we’d have slept anywhere. But we found a spot with somewhere safe to leave the bikes (The room next to ours) and the proprietor showed us a room with about eight beds in it, so that was good enough. It was next morning as we left we came to the conclusion we’d spent the night in a hotel normally used as a brothel, but foreign travel broadens the mind.
We also did a bus trip. (I’ve been pestered for this bus trip, someone must have a bus trip story, her life won’t be complete without it) which was exciting. There was a radio in the luggage rack that the driver was listening to. I’m sure it was wired direct to his accelerator; the faster the music, the faster the bus. Mind you, I can relate to that, a Suzi Quatro tape would get an extra 15 mph out of a Landrover.
The road was narrow, mountainous and the driver had obviously dreamed in his youth of being a rally driver. Now with the Spanish answer to Suzi singing, the bus was bouncing and the rest of the world just had to get out of his way.
But anyway back on the bikes and over the Sierra Nevada, staying overnight in the most bizarre hotel I’ve ever visited. It had been a big country house at one time and they had an open fire in the middle of the lounge with a copper hood to catch the smoke, which it sort of did. Then down to the coast. We’d had ten days cycling in the heat and we were going to get a day on the beach.
We hit the beach, we sprawled on sun beds; then after two hours the mindless tedium got to us. Two of us hired a pedalo and took it out and round the bay. Then the others swam out to us and we spent the afternoon diving off it into the Med.
Next day back on the bikes and on the road again.
And thanks to Suzi, for being there when we needed her