Stage 8: Perpignan – Girona!

By August 9, 2016Lifestyle

Well today certainly had an unexpected end. Lee & I have just delivered Mum and Dad to their apartment in Old Town.

All started according to plan. Dad woke Mum up stupidly early at 5:30am, keen to be first in line for the breakfast buffet. Having had a liquid meal of beer the night before they were ravenous. After eating for 45 minutes straight they packed up and hit the road.

By 10:30 am they hit a major milestone – España! The cruised smugly through the traffic backed up at the border, got some bikers to take their picture and carried on their hot and sunshiny way.

The border!

At 12 noon Lee and I stopped our frantic last minute wedding prep and headed out on the bikes to meet them on their route. We sped along, looking at the road ahead in anticipation. We went through Banyoles, out the other side and onto the road to Espoñella. We crested a climb and whizzed down the other side… And there they were!!

Plodding up up hill, they looked completely epic (well, as epic as you can get on a tandem). Both had lost weight, Mum looking even more skeletal than usual, Dad looking positively under his 76 kg weight loss target. As seems to be the pattern, it was well past lunchtime and neither had eaten.

We set a course for the bar at Banyoles, and a beer.

The tail wind blew us along, the sun was shining, a few clouds eased the heat of the sun. All was perfect.

We hit Banyoles and bagged a lakeside seat. We ordered pizza, beer, chips, lemonade and some ham sandwiches. A few more clouds were overhead, nicely taking the edge of the heat. We chatted about their trip and waited, and waited some more. The food was a looong time coming. By this time the sky had started to look a bit ominous. Lee grilled the waiter on where on earth the food was. We really needed to be hitting the road.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Just as we were about to give up and leave (after an hour I might add) the pizza’s arrived! Joy of joys! Contented silence sunk in.

We felt a tiny spot of damp, surely not, it couldn’t be rain?! We drained our coffee (complimentary, to say sorry for the wait) and hit the road as quickly as we could. Clouds were now solid and grey, the nearby mountains had disappeared from sight, lost in an oncoming deluge.

This is when a tail wind is not so great. Yes, it pushed us along nicely, but it also swept the storm along just that little bit quicker

After 2 km Mum, Dad and I were sat in a bus shelter as the deluge hit. Thunder clapped overhead. Lee made a break for Girona. We sat for a bit, took a selfie, and Mum ate a peach.

Cheese!

Cheese!

After 10 minutes I spotted a window in the weather. The rain stopped, the thunder was distant. It seemed like the right time to go.

After 10 minutes we were on the main road and the rain came back, spray flew up in our faces, cars thundered past. I felt like I was in England. Off the main road, the rain got harder and harder. I spotted a tree on a roundabout. We all dived under. Mum and Dad put on their trusty hi viz, I nicked Mum’s warm jersey she hadn’t had to use yet (thanks for bringing it along Mum!)

Soon we realised it was the tree raining on us and the actual rain had stopped.

We got back on the road, just 4 km between us and a hot shower.

As we got to the part where there’s normally a gorgeous view of Girona cathedral framed with a blue sky, thunder clapped overhead, a fork of lightening streaked across the sky and it poured it down. I have not been that wet since ever. It was pretty funny.

Mum and Dad started their epic ride in rain, and they ended their epic ride in rain. Dad said he felt refreshed, so that’s a wee silver lining there.

Anyhow, massive kudos and chapeaus to Mum and Dad, and a massive thank you to all for reading these blogs and supporting them along the way! I was going to end this series with a shot of Mum and Dad outside Girona cathedral, but it was a bit too wet.

Let’s just hope the sun shines on me and Lee on our wedding day on Friday, and that a tail wind blows us all the way back to England on our honeymoon tandem tour. Cross fingers and/or pray people!

 

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