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Craig's Musings

Benidorm 24 Day 19

I really wanted to hammer out a couple of big days today and tomorrow to make the last two days shorter and more enjoyable. I’m still on track, but today was definitely a challenge.

I was all going so well. I was up early, had a good breakfast and was out of the door by 8.15.

I had a tailwind and hit the coast quite quickly. At this rate, I’d be where I needed to be by 2 pm.

I hit Peniscola after 48km and was flying. It seemed lively considering the time of year, with the SAGA crowd taking full advantage of the clement weather and the cheap hotel prices.

But then it started to go a bit awry. To be fair, the alternative was a much longer route with much more climbing, but I was being guided through the Parc Natural de la Serra d’Irta – a natural reserve that lasted for 20km with a couple of steep climbs and plenty of gravel for good measure. Not just gravel in fact, stones and rocks which left me holding my breath waiting for a spoke to go ping.

It’s not only slightly soul-destroying, but also saps your energy. In my head my plans were changing from a 110km day to an 80 or 90. It wouldn’t be the end of the world.

It didn’t help that I was getting passed constantly by people on electric bikes. Many on mountain bikes with suspension, dressed in full lyrca, and, dare I say it, much younger than me.

Come on Terence, keep going, we’ll show these losers!

The views helped and I know I just need to keep that sea on the left and Benidorm will appear in three more days.  It’s also weird hitting Spanish holiday hotspots and reminding myself that I have bloody cycled here. On a bike. With no electric motor. It’s mental!

As I neared my destination, heading for a 4pm finish, I decided to change direction with 16km to go and stay with the coast. I didn’t see the point of climbing a few KMs to the town inland. Checking Booking.Com to see what was available, I just picked a hotel 10km away and set course.

Booking.Com really messed me around yesterday so today I just went into the hotel, and asked for a room and showed them the page on my phone with the price. They loved it. No 20% being skimmed.

As for me, I am sitting at my balcony typing, watching the last of the days sun throw long shadows across the beach. Hopefully tomorrows flat will be on concrete, but if there is one thing I’ve learned on this trip; expect the unexpected.



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