Thursday, 28 August 2008

Final endings

There had been so many endings to this trip we lost count in the end. But this was it; our last few hours in Spain. As we handed back the van, we knew we only had ten kilometres to go to get across Bilbao to the ferry in Santurtzi. As we blasted along the river in the sunshine and stopped to take pictures outside the Guggenheim, we looked forward to breakfast and coffee just a few kilometres on at the port. But of course this was Spain, so we ended as we had begun; cycling uphill. A few kilometres out of Bilbao and we found the riverside walk was still under construction. “Arriba, arriba,” said the workmen, pointing up the hill to a road high in the hillside.
Twenty five kilometres later, thirsty, tired, hungry and only just in time for check in, we finally pulled in to our destination. “That’s as far as we go on this holiday,” said Stuart. “1,400 kilometres, with 14,000 vertical metres of climb. Well done everybody.” As we pedalled the bikes the last few metres onto the ferry I looked behind me and smiled. The sun still shone, the road still climbed, siesta would soon be beginning.