Monday, 28 May 2018

Ongi Etorri

On arrival, Vitoria Gasteiz was milling with people. The first sunny weekend of the year, children playing football in the town square, people eating ice cream everywhere.... The children welcomed us and escorted us to the old local prison Gaztetxea Gasteizko Gaztetxea. This casa occupada was celebrating its 30th Birthday this weekend! Woohoo! For us however it was the wrong casa occupada, but from here it was easy to find the place we were looking for....

Los Arkillos 10! Casa ocupada numero dos, a beautiful house with a bicycle workshop every thursday and....
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... a bunch of wonderful, creative, gert lush people!
We met the Kolectivo Monstrenko a associative little theatre space. Unfortunatelly it was all a bit last minute to organise a show there. So we'll have to come back to this beautiful city one day!

Onwards, upwards, downwards into the pais Vasco profundo where we came across a shrine to the holy mary virgen, reina del mundo, guardian of all the lands travelled by cyclists, lovers of beautiful nature. Which was nice. We are happy to be protected, especially as we are just about to enter France with its dangerous drivers. We left a zip tie as an offering and cycled on happily.....
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.... into the green, the lush green, the beautiful rainbow of green....
We drank cider, juggled scarves and met some true adventurers, la familia Mundu Byciclette
Onwards upwards sideways..... downwards..... oops!
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Et maintenant le pays Basque, nous sommes des txirrindulari chez le atelier participatif Txirrind'ola!
The workshop is like a little museum, with beautiful old bicycles, bicycle art on the walls, an antique trueing stand and customized sewing machine bike stand tables....
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It is here that we play our first show of this summers tour in France....

It's the first of May and we join the manif with some of our old friends from Le Tour Alternatiba and Bizi!
In solidarity with migrants and refugees...

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and finally zure asmakizun bat.... a little riddle for you

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Unos dos tres vamos!

The other side of the Sierra de Bejar, we're off to see our friends in the Sierra de Francia again...


Eurovelo 1 - dos tres vamos!
The old train line from Plasencia to Salamanca is being turned into a via verde!
Around Bejar it looks like you might already be able to cycle on it, ignoring one or two barriers...
On the left just outside Bejar in spring 2014.... on the right the same crossing in spring 2018
railway Plasnecia to Salamanca Bejar to slamanca
Plas to Sal Plas to Salamanca
Around Hervas it will still take another while before any cyclists gets to enjoy the ride...
The first 20km just south of Salamanca are ready!

In the space of a few days we see ice, giant bees, swim in a river, plant potatoes ...
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ah piggy DSCN3065
... and go to the Encuentro en Defensa de la Escuela Rural in San Miguel de Valero!
For a little moment in time we enter the world of home schooling, alternative schools, the struggle of schools in rural Spain...everybody seems to be revolving around the Escuela Wayra
At the Encuentro we also meet the Grupo Mayalde who inspire us to bash our pots and pans and bang the table with our hands whenever we sit down at one... Grupo Mayalde

We do a little kamishibai workshop wih the 13 children in the school of San Esteban de la Sierra and then cycle of into a sand storm....
.... to meet the fun people of Valladolid once more.
La Asociacion la Curva put us in the program of events they were organising for 30 Dias en Bici and we play to the sound of the cathedral bells at the Lateral de la Catedral in the centre of Valladolid. Our poor audience have to sit on cardboard boxes, cuddling in the little spot of sun to keep warm.... luckily they are in good spirits after the Bici Tapeo (spanish for pub crawl on bicycles) that same morning

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P.S: Should you ever find yourself cycling around in circles in the town of Tordesillas trying to get out, go look for the river. Apparently there is a greenway along the river Douro... sure that's nicer than taking the autovia until the next exit.... Acipa Carrero!

Eurovelo 1 - dos tres vamos!
From La Overuela, just outside Valladolid we follow the Eurovelo 1 for a bit along the Canal de Castilla it's very pretty in bits, very bumpy in others (more bumpy approaching Palenicia).
Palencia surprises us as a little funky town! We arrive with a weekend in hand and get promptly programmed in to do a show at the beautiful little waldorf school El Jardin de las Candelas. We meet some fellow cyclists from the local biketivists  Asociacion Pata de Cabra
Saturday morning, market day, local, organic produce an ambling band and an encouter with
Hasta aqui hemos llegado  grupo de decrecimiento en Palencia. 
It's small but it's good!

After Palencia we abandon the Eurovelo 1 to enjoy the small routes of rural Spain without getting lost or tangled up in motorways!



The last moments looking down onto Spain, before entering the Basque Country