On the face of it, a 95km trek from Pamplona to San Sebastian sounded like a great idea, and one which we’d easily be able to take on. The plan was set out, we’d camp where we could en route although we had it on good authority that there’d be several options along the way. Once this was all planned out, we got ourselves prepared, set the alarm bells for 6 so that we could have a really good first day to make some headway, and then off we went.
Prior to our departure we were aware that there’d be some climbs along the route, but given that we’d decided to take things nice and slow, we weren’t too worried about this, as there as really no pressure. Something which I have certainly learned about cycling throughout a country, or at least taking on any kind of lengthy trek like this, is that things can and inevitably do go wrong. What I wasn’t aware of however, was the chances of everything going wrong in a single trip.
All Falls Down
To give you guys the highlights, or should I say the lowlights of this trip, I will simply recount the tragedies which befell us during our ‘simple’ journey.
To kick off my bike was broken on day two, spokes entering into the tire and constantly puncturing it, great. As you can imagine, this happened miles away from anywhere we could get help, a lot of walking and pushing was done.
To compound the misery, my youngest then gets sick, we thought it was some iffy tapas which we had on the road, yet with her it could just as easily have been a random object which she found on the ground and just had to chew.
And so, navigating a case of the trots with a broken bike, far from fun. The stealth camping spot actually worked out perfectly, every dark cloud does have a silver lining!
I was able to get the bike back in shape and roadworthy before the climbs started, and boy were they hard. The incline seemed to be rising in gradient as quickly as my legs were tiring and my will was breaking. Then, to add insult to actual injury, the sun burned the bejesus out of me. I had been so tired and so occupied with the kids and making sure that they were alright, that I complexly forgot to put sunblock on my neck and my face.
In reality, arriving at the beautiful coastal resort of Sea Sebastian was supposed to be pretty grand, the sum of our 3 or 4 days of effort. We should have glided into the hotel with pride, beaming smiles and swollen muscles. Sadly however, we rolled into town looking like prisoners of war who had just been released following days of torture, bloody, broken, burned and bruised, not exactly what we had pictured in the beginning of our journey.