80km, 1206m climbing: Cadaqués – Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines.
It was time to leave Spain.
On top of not having gotten much sleep thanks to the jerk wind that whipped our tent all night long, we didn’t have a lot to eat for breakfast. When we reached Llançà, I went into a grocery shop and took photos of food that interested me while Yann guarded our bikes.
Banana. Croissant. Yogurt. Fish.
What I’d like to know is what part of the fish is supposed to be edible? It’s 98% face.
Maybe you’re just supposed to eat the contents of its stomach, which is sort of like a grab bag of fish?
“I know nothing about preparing fish face, please just get yogurt, Yann.”
One of our parting gifts from Ed was a map of the Costa Brava.
Not this map.
To see the small roads, our GPS requires zooming in, and when you’re zoomed in, you lose sight of the destinations you have in mind. With an old-timey paper map, it was easier to figure out a route.
After discussing/arguing whether we’d head back inland to go over some more mountains, or take the “easy” way around the coast, we settled for the coastal route.
As it turns out, only the water part of the coast was flat.
The climbs were shorter but steeper. We didn’t have the protein from the fish face to give us a much-needed boost after a crappy night’s sleep.
We didn’t have trouble staying awake. The steep climbs took my breath away, as did the view.
When we stopped at a water pump in the town of Banyuls-sur-Mer to refill our water bottles and found the pump to be non-functional, a local non-verbally led us to a working water pump.
Not an exciting story, but I thought that was nice.
The entire ride (N-260/D-914 from Llançà to Argelès-sur-Mer) is pleasant if you ignore all the drivers beyond the French border (Cerbère to Argelès-sur-Mer). This was a little easier for me to manage as I couldn’t hear all the cars honking at us. This was probably the only time during our trip when Yann was more stressed about the traffic than I was.
If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, why not take the less-scenic route? Sérieusement, pourquoi pas?
We started heading inland after reaching Argelès-sur-Mer. While pedalling, I noticed there was something stuck to my front tire. I signalled Yann to stop so that I could inspect up-close: I had a tentative flat.
Yann suggested that if I were to just leave the thorn in, my tire wouldn’t deflate. But why wait if we were in a good position to do a tube change?
Before we left for our trip, a friend with cycle touring experience said to me, “Only one spare tube? Living on the wild side, I see.” I thought about this a lot for the rest of the trip.
One of the campsites we checked out was Camping Les Albères, a 4-star campsite in, well, Les Albères. The fee was something ridiculous like 50€ per night, with an additional 20€ per day if you wanted to use the Wifi!
The next place we tried was the neighbouring municipal campground, which was at the very opposite end of the comfort spectrum. It was basically a tarp-covered dumpster that probably only had dial-up internet.
Camping Fagamis L’Oasis was just 3km away in Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines. When we arrived, the proprietors shook our hands and welcomed us with free beer. Yup, we were staying here.