Day 13 Comillas – Oyambre campsite

14/08/10 (911 miles)

“I’m stunned to see Helen on the verge of crying with laughter at her own riding skills, rather than the usual wide-eyed fear! (I’m convinced she’s secretly counting the hours until she climbs off the bike for the last time, although on this occasion I’d put it down to the glass of vino blanco she necked earlier!)”

Guess what? It’s raining….and has been all blimmin’ night! Both of us are tired of the rain and this campsite, so when the rain stops, we jump to breaking down the pitch and head off to the next beachfront campsite. Unsurprisingly, Helen is now in a great mood!

The new campsite turns out to be a much better option, with helpful staff, friendly relaxed vibe around us with smiling faces and a welcome chat from a Dutch lady who chats with us about our bikes recounting how she used to go pillion on her husband’s old Norton 500 (bizarrely the same as La Poderosa II in my book!)

cafe solo por favor

We setup, have some coffee then head down to the beach at last, and finally brave the water for a quick swim amongst the surfers in their wetsuits…though Helen prefers the warmth of the beach instead. A nice looking little beachbar needs investigating, so we venture in and sample their beer, vino blanco and some garlic chips (chips completely covered in a very strong garlic mayonnaise…cracking), before the rain arrives again briefly.

San Vicente de Barquera

Once the rains stop we gear up and go for a ride into San Vicente, with Helen excited at the prospect of some shopping and fine dining. When we stop at the bridge into San Vicente, I’m stunned to see Helen on the verge of crying with laughter at her riding skills, rather than the usual wide eyed fear! (I’m convinced she’s secretly counting the hours until she climbs off the bike for the last time, although on this occasion I’d put it down to the old vino blanco she necked earlier!) We park up and pack all our riding gear into our panniers before venturing on. The town once more is alive with life and locals enjoying the food & drink on offer. We consider treating ourselves to some fresh lobster or shrimps, but need to reserve our dwindling funds for necessities unfortunately. San vicente has the mandatory medieval church and castle to admire from the outside (both closed surprise, surprise), before treating ourselves to the largest ice-cream I’ve tucked into since the days of large Mars Bars and wagon wheels the size of a DVD.

Relaxing at last…

The rest of the day was a much more pleasant experience that at Comillas. Back to the beach bar for some sun downers and watch the surfers doing their thing, which isn’t up to much with such a small swell. Undeterred they remain out beyond the small waves scanning the horizon for just one good wave, as we tuck into more beer and wine. Dinner is served back at the tent in the form of pasta, salad and fried spicy chorizo. Get chatting to German cyclist who’s ridden from Munich and spending a few months peddling through France and Spain, next stop the Picos mountains about 20km away from us.

My drinking head is firmly on and I can easily work my way through the smooth spanish beers and light Rioja, we’ve grown accustomed to. I bought a Daily Telegraph in SVdB and scanning through it, discover wet weather is due to arrive in the UK this weekend and remain scattered throughout September, so that’ll be a nice return then.

Helen’s battery is still working fine now (I wonder if it was the rectifier after all and not dodgy connections I’ve cleaned up?) and the chains are in good condition, despite running out of chain lube a few hundred miles ago. I top up her engine oil again though, which has now consumed an extra 500ml during the trip!

Day 14 Oyambre

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