Euro Bike Trip: The Spanish Plains

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Jon takes a break at a lonesome bus stop.

After a grueling few days toiling in the Cantabrain Mountains, we descended into the Spanish plains, a place where I’m told the rain tends to accumulate. Long and flat and stretching as far as the eye can see, the roads were a welcome respite to the hilly terrain of the previous days riding. Still following the Camino de Santiago we traveled the prairie roads for four days into Basque country, finally ending in Pamplona. Physically the route may have been flat, but it still had ts share of ups and downs. Along the way we battled heavy headwinds, dull-road induced boredom, and even a few injuries. It was hard to complain, however, what with the sunny skies and cottonball clouds hanging overhead. To top it all off, there wasn’t a drop of rain the whole time. Take a look:

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A donkey completely ignores his water bowl just outside the town of St. Martin

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On the road heading to Burgos.

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Little boxes on the hillside

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A sign marks the pilgrims trail, Camino de Santiago.

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We made some friends in at an albergue in the small town of Azorfa, Spain. They had lots of extra food so they kindly offered to share their dinner with us. Free dinner? Yes please.

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Not the most inviting swimming pool, but when it’s hot you can’t really be too choosy.

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A quiet road in Estrella, Spain, the last town before reaching Pamplona.

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A river passes through Estrella.

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This is the main square in the old section of Pamplona. The Iruna Cafe in the distance is one of the main settings for Ernest Hemmingway’s novel, “Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises.”

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There was a general work strike on the day we visited. It really seemed like people just wanted another excuse not to work. No one really seemed to be to less passionate about protesting than they were about hanging out with their friends and playing hacky-sack on the grass. Or maybe that’s how the protest in Spain.

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The view from my window.

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The world famous Fiesta in Pamplona, scheduled to begin July 7th. The road looks quite now, but during event the streets are transformed into a giant gauntlet where massive bulls with razor sharp horns run down the cobbled paths in the hopes of gorging a drunk tourist. Somtimes they get lucky, but mostly they just get corralled and eventually killed. Good times.

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