I now come to the final part of my personal Vuelta, in Northern Spain. For this part of my trip I went cycling with my wife Sarah and we saw beautiful coastlines, amazing mountains and some rather extreme cider drinking.
For the last week of August Sarah joined me and we set off on our journey to Galicia via historic Toledo and Salamanca. These are 2 cities really worth visiting, but the details of that are for another day. We arrived at my Uncle’s house up in the far North West of Galicia knowing we would have to balance the amount of cycling we could do with the vast amounts of great food we would be consuming. My Auntie definitely studied at the school of Mrs Doyle from Father Ted…..wandering around with huge platters of food saying “ah you will, you will, you will” (or as she says, serás, serás, serás……)
During the week we covered the coastline between Ferrol and A Coruña, cycling between each of the rias (similar to those charming little bays along the Cornish coastline) and managed to ride over some of the routes covered by the Vuelta. Like most of Spain nothing is flat, and although Galicia doesn’t have the high mountains near our house in the Sierra Nevada, if you cycle away from the main roads, you will find some of the steepest bitch climbs I’ve ever encountered. The main thing is to enjoy the spectacular vistas of Galicia; green hills, spectacular coastlines and awesome forests
One of the classic rides I did was through the Celtic market town of Irixoa with the landscape at times reminding me of the Ashdown forest but higher. Here is the strava route, and if you want to make it longer and tougher get over to Curtis which a local told was a climb that just went on and on!
We finally headed over to our last night in Spain where we stayed in Gijon, arriving in the middle of a big cider festival. This meant 24 hours of drinking hard cider the Asturias way by pouring it from a great height and noticing locals with bagpipes and kilts – very definitely Celtic Spain. We also managed some cycling along a Vuelta route into the countryside which needs further investigation another time. It was a shame this adventure had to end particularly since Sarah was finding her legs, enough to take me to the steepest 1k climb I have ever done. A couple of 20%+ ramps made it had to pedal.