Friday, 6 February 2015
A tale of two mayors
We arrive in Cataluna just before the vote for independence, which wasn’t really a vote because it had been declared illegal. The Presidente of Espana just kept saying no, you can’t have a vote. No, no, no!”. But the Catalunians weren’t having any of it and were being very catalan, flying flags, discussing the controversy of it all, talking about their democratic rights and their wish to rid themselves of the corruption that weaves their way through every bone of national government (and surely the local one two , we would say…). .
The independence for Cataluna was everywhere. Even the nudrigas expressed their consent yellowly.
We stayed with the ex mayor of Salt and went voting with him, cycling around the houses with Catalan music blasting out from our bicycle. They all voted Yes Yes, but really nothing happened in the end. Or maybe we just don’t know yet, because just after the big day we left in direction of St.Hilarie, into the hills, where there is nothing but hills and trees and they weren’t interested in any of it. Maybe we’ll find out more on our way back to France.
Kevin claims the steps for himself and declares Catalonian independence!
In Vic we stayed with a super friendly bunch of Catalonians who had claimed their independence and were living it at Font Salada, a great little house outside of Vic, the Motorway bridge looming above, a couple of piggies, some horses , a beautiful veg garden .
It’s Kevin again. He claims 1.000.000 points for seeing the first praying mantis. And not only sees it but takes it as a passenger for a couple of hundred metres, before it starts climbing up too much….scaring him a little. It was quite big.
More hills to go up, more trees, lots of water bottling factories.
And then the first views of Mont Serrat! We felt like little Hobbits, cycling through the sunset and then down into Avinyo for the night…
This magnificent mountain accompanied us the whole of the next day. It is like somethig out of Lord of the Rings….
…. as is this weird insect! What is it? The size of a ginger nut biscuit, a shield and a dagger, no wings but strong springs as legs. Kevin gathered the courage to take photographic evedince.
After a couple of days in the mountains we’re back on the flat again and find ourselves a nice canal to get past Lleida and past the apple, pear and peach trees into Fraga. We must still be in Cataluna, even the trees are expressing their catalunism and are flying yellow leaves.
Bye bye Cataluna!
Hello famous desert of Los Monegros! This is where the Duke and the Dutches made fun of Don Quixcote and made Sancho Panza governor of an island.
Our first desert, we thought we better do the desert thing and crawl towards the Fata Morgana… the lake was full of Bretons… it really was a mirage and we needed water or some desert cheese.
But there was nothing for miles and miles. No water, no cheese , no island, no palace, no dukedom….
… until finally a promise of cheese!
but in the village they told us the cheese maker had packed it in years ago and the other one down the road had too….
so we bought some vegetables from the veg van and hoped we could make it into Zaragoza without cheese.
And there, the first sign of Ciclismo Ridiculismo on the horizon! We will make it!
We have made it! Zaragoza birthplace of Ciclismo Nudista, the World Naked Bike Ride, home to ciclismo Ridiculismo! We have found you!
Christmas is nearing and it looks like it is not only the cyclists who are ridiculous here but also everyone else…. they are building a life size Bethlehem in front of the Cathedral!
Well we were amussed by it and went to have fun with the fabulous people at La Cicleria Social Club.
We met the soon to be Mayor of Zaragoza who is standing for Podemos and enjoyed the company of our newly found friends….