Cycling day 4 – rain day

We woke to downpour. At breakfast, our leader told us that Martina and Nestor had already left for the bike staging, and they would let us know if we needed a plan B once they arrived.

During the bus trip to the staging area, we were given a few options, but shortly after, Uri half-jokingly explained Spanish democracy to us, meaning that the decision not to ride in the morning had been made for us. Instead, we went to the Salvador Dalí museum in the town of Figueres. I won’t lie about it; I didn’t know much about Dalí, so I was indifferent to going, but our wonderful guide Sandra made me interested. She gave us a brief history about Dalí and his wife, Gala, and we were shown some of his works. I wish we had more time to hear more of the stories. At least we had the chance to go in at all. Had the weather been more favourable for biking, we would not have stopped here. In this case, the rain was a blessing in disguise.

dali-museum

In the atrium, there is an installation that consists of a Cadillac, and an upside down boat. Rick Steve’s describes it on his website like this:

“You know how you can never get a cab when it’s raining? Pop a coin into Dalí’s personal 1941 Cadillac, and it rains inside the car. Look above, atop the tire tower: That’s the boat enjoyed by Dalí and his soulmate, Gala — his emotional life-preserver, who kept him from going overboard. When she died…so did he (for his last seven years). Below the boat drip blue tears made of condoms.”

Our guide reminded us that Dalí was a surrealist and his work always had another meaning. The name of this installation is of course, Car-Naval.

courtyard

Did you notice the gold figures to the right? In fact, these figures surround the entire atrium. What do they remind you of? Oscar perhaps?

I can’t remember the story behind this painting.

painting

In the jewelry collection, this Dalí Flower caught my eye.

jewels

Sandra brought us into this huge room, just behind the Car-Naval installation, to show us this massive painting (420 cm x 318 cm) titled Gala Nude Looking at the Sea (1975). Gala was Dalí’s wife, and the love of his life. She was his inspiration; hence, he signed all his work Salvador Gala Dalí. I’ve tried to convince hubs that he should incorporate my name into his signature, but clearly he does not love me as passionately as Dalí loved Gala! Anyway, this painting, as lovely as it is of Gala, there is more to it. There is a double image. From an 18 meter distance, you can see President Lincoln.

linc-gala1

Sandra told us to view the image through our camera, and I was able to see Lincoln’s face! If you are still unable to make it out, check it out here.

linc-gala

One of my absolute favourite paintings is of Gala. I ended up purchasing the postcard.

gala

After the tour, we were ushered into the vans and taken to our lunch spot. It was still raining. As we were wrapping up, our leaders counted those of us that were interested in doing a 10 km ride back to the hotel. There were only five us that were up for it. I signed up and paid for a bike trip, so I wanted to ride. It helped that the rain had eased a little and was more like drizzle, and the temperature was warmer. Uri was the one that had to take us out. I was wondering if he was sincerely interested in taking such a small group of us, or if he was cursing us secretly. The leaders had to climb up and bring down our bikes from the roof of the van. It’s work for them, for five people.

ride1

The next two photos were taken by Jon from the van. Yes, that’s hubs riding in the middle of the road, blocking the van!

ride2

Uri’s bike was not easy to bring down from the roof of the van, so he took a bike that was more accessible. He looks so funny riding this bike that is clearly too small for him.

ride3

As we approached the road that would lead us towards our hotel, Uri asked if we felt like going another 3 km, just to have the opportunity to ride a little longer. He actually wasn’t sure where the road would lead us, but we all nodded excitedly in agreement. That extra 3 km turned out to be a lot longer. I’m not kidding when I say that Uri didn’t know this route – we were being adventurous! We started climbing this hill and we all just kept going, even though the rain was starting to get heavier. I wanted to know what was at the top. Uri wasn’t confident this was a loop. He had to stop an oncoming car to find out where this road would lead us. The road/ride was actually really nice, and the climb wasn’t nearly as taxing as the other climbs we’ve done on this trip. We reached a church at the top of the hill and at this point, the wind really picked up. We had to turn around and head back out as it turned out this road was not a loop. Uri didn’t want us bombing down the hill, but I can’t help myself. I really do love the thrill of going downhill. What made this descent thrilling was that it was pouring. Rain was beating down on us, and because it was windy and I was in a tuck, rain was hitting my face and being kicked up from my front wheel. My cycling shoes were filled with water. Alyson, another person that braved the weather, had took off her socks at the top of hill and strapped them to her trunk bag. The whole ride was such an adventure, and I loved the energy from everyone. I’m so glad that we did it. The hardest climb turned out to be the last 10 minutes from town to the hotel. My legs were tired, and once we arrived at the top of the hill, we had to ride through sand to get to our hotel. In the parking lot, we grabbed beers from the cooler in the trailer and toasted, “Ets una crack!” Translation: you (collective) rock!

day-4-efforts

Looking like drowned rats, we piled into the lobby of our beautiful hotel to check-in. As soon as I stepped into our room, I started peeling off everything and hubs beckoned me into the washroom. My dream washroom! The shower was next to the tub, open. This set up made it very easy to clean up all our cycling clothes – shower and wash at the same time. And what a view while showering!

shower

We ended up filling the tub and washing all of our cycling clothes in there.

bath2

Our room was fantastic, giving us lots of space to sort through our stuff. Some of our other rooms were quite cramped, but still very nice. The tricky part was getting into our room. The lock was a little fussy.

door

room1

Where’s the bathroom?

room2

room3

The tour of the medieval town was cancelled due to rain. Our leaders kindly arranged for us to have dinner on Backroads at the hotel; however, they also offered the option to be dropped off at the medieval town and having dinner on our own. This was the original plan, and six of us selected this. When we arrived, half of the recommended restaurants were closed due to rain! It was like a ghost town, but it was a lovely looking town with cobblestone roads. The six of us dined together at L’Arc Vell where hubs and I ordered the seafood tapas. It was delicious and reminded me of the grilled seafood platter at the market.

dinner

Despite the rain today, I had an incredible day and I think the memory of this particular day will stay with me for a very long time.

The weather forecast for the next two days looks good. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s ride along the coast.

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