These cycling trips are almost as much about the food as about the cycling, so I will have much to say on both subjects as the two weeks fly by.
Today is considered to be one of the toughest rides of this tour. In a way that is too bad, since this was a perfect ride and I would love to have one like this every day. The weather was great – bright sun, and temperatures around 70 degrees. We started in Girona, our home for the last two nights, and rode 37 miles to the Costa Brava. We had a well-marked route out of the city, and then hit some rural roads with virtually no traffic and some bike paths that were not paved, but were easy to ride on since they were dry and hard packed. Where there was traffic, it was nice to see the signs reflecting the new law that motorists must give 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) clearance to cyclists.
Then we hit the big climb of the day – around 1150 feet of climbing (to an altitude of 1500 feet) over about five and a half miles. Not too steep and really quite pleasant. Then we had a magnificent descent to the Mediterranean’s Costa Brava with spectacular views all the way down. The ride along the cost to St Feliu de Guixols was up and down with another 1100 or 1200 feet of easy climbs, bring the total for the day to about 2800 feet.
I bypassed the suggested lunch spot because it was only 11 am when I got there and I wasn’t hungry yet (we had breakfast at 8), so I had lunch at the hotel after I arrived. More on that lunch, after I describe last night’s dinner.
We ate at Arros I Peix (Rice and fish – remember the language here is Catalan, not Spanish, although Spanish is also widely spoken and understood). We started with a green salad with tuna, followed by some grilled vegetables. Then it got more interesting with shared platters of deep-fried baby eels, cockels, mussels, and finally scallops. All this was just a build up to the main course, “soupy rice with lobster.” The pictures below tells the story best. We had a choice of desserts, and I went with “coffee pudding,” which was quite good. Alhough this was an early dinner by Spanish standards, it was after 11 when we finished.
After checking into the hotel today and showering, I went downstairs, intending to eat “something light.” But I ended up ordering the “menu of the day,” with a goat cheese salad as a starter (the goat cheese was warm and delicious), followed by grilled hake (a fish that I have rarely, if ever, had before, but which is very pleasant), and flan for dessert. I then took a walk along the beach to burn off a few calories and get ready for dinner (again at 8 pm). Here you see the grilled hake.
Our hotel is directly across the street from the beach. I had intended to swim, but it is quite cool, especially with the breeze, so I decided to pass on the dip in the Mediterranean, at least for today. I think that we will have a few more opportunities.
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