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On the road . September 2006 . France, Spain and Portugal

map route France and Spain

Laser internet café, Bilbao 09-09-06
One pass to another

Bordeaux to San Sebastien
(4 cycle days; 343km; 2696m)

Gradignan to Parentis-en-Born (78km; 114m)
Parentis-en-Born to Soustons (99km; 169m)
Soustons to Sare (94km; 912m)
Sare to Igeldo - San Sebastian, Spain (73km; 1501m)

Buzzed Off
Bordeaux to Parentis (78km; 114m)
is easy going; long, straight and flat and had it not been for the campsite lying well out of Parentis itself, we would have been sitting in front of the tent well before 3.30pm. The trip is nothing really out of the ordinary except a very large pine forest industry, an overwhelming number of resorts and 4-star campgrounds dotting the lake and coastal regions. Campsite prices are consequently not very good value for cyclists. In fact, if Noah rocked up with his ark, he would be charged the same price. Naturally there would be a surcharge for all the animals.

The event of the day however, is cycling in the vicinity of a hornets nest...

read on
Tip of the month: the only way to carry the loo-paper

An Ozzie friend once told me about this toilet paper trick and I'm sure that most backpackers already know the secret. At first, I thought she was totally mad and that removing the inside carton roll wouldn't make any difference to its bulk and ease of packing in the travel bag.

But there you go, I was horribly wrong and for those of you that have never tried it: it's a great way to cart toilet paper around the world with you. What's more, if you put it inside a ziploc bag, you've got yourself a nifty little dispenser too.

Instructions could not be easier:
Take cardboard roll out of the middle (can be a slight perseverance task, depending on the brand). Flatten the roll, making sure the middle piece of paper is sticking out, place in sealable plastic bag and voilá.

You will never need to get the loo paper out of the bag again. Pretty handy considering some of the grotty toilets there are in this world. Anyone who's camped or travelled on a budget will know exactly the benefit of that.

Bordeaux (France) - Peniche (Portugal)
1533 kilometers and 990 meters
Riding days: 21
Alti meters: 13666 metres
Weather: what can we say... a few days in northern Spain and one or two around Porto were dry. All the others we had rain and plenty of it...
Best accommodation: Riaño, because of the view and the very friendly staff

Special thanks to:
Mirko Schrijvershof
for his support at the Rabobank • Alfredo at Laser internet café for his friendliness • Rodrigo at Servicio Automaçion Novinar near Léon for fixing our electricity supply and the nice conversation • Pascal & Annie for the Martini and nibbles when we most needed them (in Bragança rain). Looking forward to the photos ! • The Tax Office in Holland who is still supporting us financially, although we are long gone :-)

06: tent pole
08: flat tyre (Son)
12: tent pole
12: cooking pot handle
18: flat tyre (Ali)
18: loose wire solar connector
22: eyelet for rear pannier (Ali)

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