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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 17 & Day 18. Starogard Gdanski-Jastrowie-Szczecin.

Posted by admin On Julio - 26 - 2010

Day 17: 136 kilometers. 7 hours and 56 minutes.

Day 18: 153 kilometers. 8 hours and 12 minutes.

IVAN: Day 17 was cloudy, rainy and windy first thing in the morning; a head wind was blowing as well, of course! Everywhere we go, the lovely weather and we are as tight as a tick. So, track farms of Murcia, no worries! If you are short of water, give us a shout! The tandem, J.L. and I will come around for visit and that will do. This tongue-in-cheek comment has recently acquired some scientific significance, though. Taking into account the whims of the weather we’ve been subjected to while we were in training for this trip, the empirical results will support my hypothesis. We started the training sessions last October; in November we went on our first tandem trip around the Aragonese soils for 5 days. On the 3rd day, we couldn’t go through the Caspe-Cariñena stage because of the wind (for further reading “Stranded in Caspe” & “Spokes Whistling into the Wind”). After that fierce fight with Aeolus, the winter term began in Castellón, and my goodness! It was the harshest winter ever! Snowfalls, lowest temperatures ever recorded; and still we woke up at 7 a.m. to ride the tandem…Well, February came and we decided to do another training session around the Andalusian soils, where the sun and the heat never quit working; to the hell with that! Heavy rains, flooded roads, paddy fields for 5 days! We had the feeling we were in Cantabria, not in Andalusia. Hey! I was kind of undergoing a duck metamorphosis. My toes were turning into webbed toes! Well, afterwards, things got better. On our way to Santiago de Compostela, we got slightly wet, it was a bit windy, but, hey, nothing wild. At this very moment, the challenge begins: so far we’ve had only 3 sunny days out of 17 days, the rest were rainy and windy. I hope that our luck changes as we get closer to our homeland. The truth is that this wouldn’t prove to be a hindrance if our bodies weren’t wearing down. It’s all in a day’s work for a cyclist, though.

I’d like to mention that there was no Day 17 post yesterday because there was no Internet coverage, not even cell phone coverage. Jastrowie, where the place we were staying at was, was in the heart of one of the countless Polish woods, so Internet access was out of reach.

Day 18 was sort of different; better, perhaps; and a bit sunny, at last! And it passed off without a problem. Now, in terms of roads and traffic flow, the story is different. Sweden was the land of caravans, road motorcycles and well-paved roads; whereas Poland is the land of busy traffic and poor roads (I’m trying to be as politically correct as possible). As to respect for cyclists, well, no comments. In Scandinavia, respect for cyclists, in some cases, was a bit excessive, well, I think that the Swedish people have robbed the Poles of that surplus of patience, those naughty Swedish…

Last, but not least, I’d like to say something about the number of street graffiti we come across while cycling the towns. Most of them have strings of words, as if they were demanding something, I guess, that is meaningful in Polish or meaningful in Spanish, as well. Too bad we don’t speak Polish!

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