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Day 19 ...... Hostalric to Figueres ........85 km .....(total 1,482 km)

April 24, 2018

 

Left our delightful accommodation at a hostel in Hostalric at 7.15 am which for me is an unusually early time to be on the road. However the benefits are that the morning air is still crisp, traffic light and as was the case this morning the scenery wonderful.

 

We had got to Hostalric by default last night as Blanes was originally our point of destination. However such was the ease of the terrain “the broken one” suggested we push on after lunch until we felt we had enough. That “enough” was 16 km down the road at Hostalric where the only accommodation in the town was a hostel that was fully occupied bar one room. That would be one room and one bed. Solution was to drag in a spare mattress upon which I spent the evening . The bathroom was across the corridor with a fellow guests cigarette ash prominent in the bidet. All of this for the princely sum of 15EUR a head. 

 

This mornings ride along the GI-555 towards Girona was a delight cruising as we did through numerous forests and alongside a bubbling brook. Even the manufacturing plants we passed were attractive. 

 

 

I think I mentioned yesterday we were in the heart of the pro independence Catalan countryside . A yellow ribbon everywhere in support of the “political prisoners “ who have being held against their will by the Spanish government for attempting to take Catalonia out of Spain’s governance. 

 

 

Pretty quickly we were in Girona which was an unexpected joy in that we indulged ourselves in a hearty breakfast near the city’s main square . Here the “broken one “ can be seeing using an invisible pepper grinder to flavour his breakfast. A breakfast of champions it was. 

 

 

 

Of what we saw of Girona was enough for both of us to state an intention to return . As elsewhere the pro independence movement was obvious. 

 

 

 

Leaving Girona we struck some of the most attractive scenery of the last 2 days as we headed towards Figueres. Country roads that led into quaint villages and across lovely terrain bordered by beautiful fields the trip was a delight to behold. Made more pleasant by the cloudless skies. 

 

 

Lovely villages with lovely houses 

 

 

The lovely thing about riding with company is the chance to chat and converse as you put away the km. Unless of course you’re riding with the “Broken one”. Follow that dotted line to the right to the very top of the photo and you may just see a bright green topped cyclist. Yup that would be my riding companion for the day. 

 

 

 

 

The scenic road from Girona to Figueres. Minimal traffic, quaint villages, undulating terrain and we both agreed it was better than the seaside ride from Barcelona to Blanes. 

 

 

As the cultured amongst you will undoubtedly know, Figueres is the birth place of Salvador Dali. However I am guessing you didn’t know this. It’s also the birthplace of Narcís Monturiol. Who? I hear you ask. Well he was the designer and builder of the first machine powered submarine. 

 

 

Clever man ol Salvador.

 

 

 

Salvador sculptures abound in Figueres and like Girona we both agreed we’d return.

 

 

 

Main church of Figueres directly opposite the Salvador Dali museum and art gallery.

 

 

Onto France tomorrow which is “only” 35 km away. First a small climb up over the eastern Pyrenees.

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