I have just returned from four days in the Basque Country, the land of steep sided valleys and green hillsides on Spain’s northern coast.
I could start with a blog post about the interesting and attractive cities of Bilbao and Donostia (San Sebastian) and our trips to visit bike businesses in the surrounding valleys. But frankly if I had one resounding short-term memory of the four days it is rain.
Writing this blog I have experienced the wettest day I can ever recall being out in when I was cycling in a Mediterranean storm in Malta three years ago. I remember wet cycling tours, muddy mountain bike rides and races in dreadful conditions. But I just cannot remember a work trip when we seemed to get continuously soaked every single time we stepped out of the door on consecutive days.
A cold front has swept down across Western Europe right from the Arctic, but before it got to Spain it passed over the warmer Bay of Biscay and apparently picked up huge amounts of water which it unceremoniously dumped on us. Coat failure, shoe failure, fortunately no sense of humour failure.
All our hosts were apologetic and charming about the experience, but it seems that Basques fully understand why their country is one of the greenest areas of Spain. However the cycle counter in Bilbao that normally counts around 1000 cyclists a day got a bit stuck, or rather it seems the locals decided this was all a bit much even for them.
I will return with some more constructive thoughts – and by checking my photos I seem to have captured at least one moment between the storms. Funny, I had to search for it!