94km, 888m climbing: Girona – Cadaqués.
I would have liked to visit the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres. We had even come so close the day we rode into Esponellà.
The day we rode from Esponellà to Girona, we learned that there aren’t a lot of back road options for going into major cities. Even with a wide shoulder to ride on it’s unsettling having cars whiz by you at 100+km/h. Does this look like a fun road to cycle on to you?
The other issue with making a stop in Figueres was that the Dali museum requires purchasing tickets in advance, and we were kind of making plans on the fly. It was decided that we’d instead head for the coast again and get a glimpse of Dali’s house in Port Lligat.
Unlike the road into Girona, the road out of Girona, the GIV-6703 was stunning. The average grade of this 11km long climb is a me-approved 3%.
While descending Els Angles, I found that my rear brakes were no longer functioning well. Upon closer inspection, I saw that my panniers had slid forth on the rack and were pressing against the canti brake arms. Yann had a quick solution in the form of duct tape: he tore a strip in half, pushed my panniers all the way back on the rack and wrapped the tape around the tubing to prevent the panniers from sliding forth again.
After Els Angels, Yann and I had 50km of almost totally flat cycling before we’d see a hill again. We were now on the Costa Brava, and once again riding against a headwind. When we reached the town of L’Escala (Catalan for “The Ladder” although it seemed pretty flat), we made a stop at Carrefour Market to stock up on food.
Even though we brought a cheap lock, we had a system where one person would shop while the other guards the bikes. When we leaned our bikes against the store, away from the main entrance, we did not realize we were blocking an emergency exit. There was no signage, no painted lines, no sticky note, no hobgoblin… but one of the store employees was in such a sour mood that she found it appropriate to pound on the glass and make the “MOVE” hand motion. Our fully-loaded bikes were 40-50 pounds apiece and not easily moved out of the way at once. Angry Lady wasn’t having any of it and proceed to shove the door open, causing the bikes to fall against me.
The least pleasant encounter of the trip award goes to… The lady of Carrefour Market L’Escala!
Maybe she saw the Catalan flag on my bike and was one of the 8% who voted “No” on the referendum.
I moved the bikes one-at-a-time as quickly as I could to a spot next to the exit. Yann was somehow in an equally disgusted mood when he walked out of the store. “The people here… ugh!”
When we reached the Cap de Creus peninsula, we could see some well-deserved rain clouds over L’Escala.
By the time we reached Port Lligat, it was too late to visit the Dali house. Like the citadel of Carcassonne, we had to appreciate it from a distance.
Cadaqués would have been a lot nicer if not for all the tourists.
Regrettably, the most memorable moment of our brief stay was witnessing a lady willfully empty half a salt shaker on her meal. Then after a few bites, decided that her food still was not salty enough. Such a surreal experience. Dali would’ve been proud.
It was very windy that night, and we had foolishly positioned the tent so that the billowing nylon kept slapping my side all night. I was so tired, I thought I was going to start hallucinating: Eggs… melting clocks… lobster phones… A lady aggressively shaking a salt shaker.
If I were to revisit the Cap de Creus peninsula, I would stay in El Port de la Selva instead. I’m sure Dali hung out there, too.