- Elizabeth Cameron-Smith
Day 19 - Las Arenas to Santander - Spain
Two ferry crossings and two crazy Italians and a snake.
99.31 km today with an elevation of 1249m in 6 hours and 45 minutes.
A horizontal cable car was the transportation that Grant used to cross over the Estuary of Bilbao when leaving Las Arenas after a night in the Pension. He wasn't feeling great as his cold had settled in and he had been forced to take some medicine the night before to try and clear it and help him breathe better.
On reaching the other side he headed straight up a hill to get onto the cycle path that took him onto about 20 km of track that led him under freeways and over bi ways on an incredibly well designed path, eventually leading him onto the beach of La Arena.
Not far from there at the Estuary of La Pobena, Grant came across a class of students learning about water safety, learning how to body board and being taught about staying safe in the sea.
After turning right in the direction of yet another steep hill the path turned into a narrow path with hundreds of steps and he turned back as it would be impossible to carry on going.He had to reroute onto a proper pathway going to the same destination.
This led him to Pena Serrada where he joined the seaside Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, onward to Orton...... where some serious climbing began ( it all seems serious to me! )
At Castro Urdialos he rode into the beautiful town with it's magnificent church, arriving after a huge bike road race which had taken place earlier.Hundreds of cyclists were milling around after the race.He loved this harbour view and beach and thought the town had an amazing natural setting.
He didn't want to stop for long and rode on and caught a ferry from Loredo to Santona where the two rivers meet and flow out into this estuary.There was really no sign of a crossing so Grant, after riding up and down along the bank a few times, asked someone and they showed him the few planks on the beach that indicated the ferry pick up point!
The ferry arrived a short while later.
Molenada was a rest stop after the most strenuous climbing on the seaside hills, so while standing in the shade catching his breath and stretching his legs a snake came slithering up toward Crazybike guy and his bike.
"I just didn't move. I managed to take a photo of it and it continued on it's merry way. It was totally unperturbed at having me there and I think I was more surprised than the snake was!!"
- Grant on a voice message
This inspired Grant to get back on his bike and cycle to Padrena which was another stop that involved a ferry crossing over the Becedo Estuary, this time to Santander, the capital of the historical Cantabria region.
There was very little information on the actual ferry crossing and after looking around for a while Crazybikeguy spotted a small wharf - a ferry was leaving with people and bicycles happily settled on it already. He started shouting and waving very loudly as he didn't want to miss it and miss the crossing to the other side after a hard day on the bike and so much climbing.
To his delight the the guys on the ferry started shouting to and they managed to alert the captain,who then come back for him!He met up with two shouting long distance cyclists from Italy once on the ferry.They were doing the Camino on bikes and were very happy to to find out about what Grant was doing and why....
Santander proved to be another scenic city with beautiful architecture and churches, long sandy beaches and pretty bay area. Grant found a place to stay, had some dinner and a walk around and took some photos before settling in for a good sleep - much needed after a hectic day....saved by the Italians!
Spain is majestic, the people are friendly and the scenery is breathtaking. So much respect for natural spaces and cyclists!
Our Mission.Their Future.
Grant is riding to create awareness of Autism and to raise money for our Special Knead Cafe - an opportunity for neuro diverse adults to come together in community and create a purpose for themselves.
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