Saturday, 31 August 2013

We are ready to roll ...

It's the eve of our adventure ... Late night of course versus going to bed early and being well rested . The bikes all arrived in great condition, with a little work party all seats and peddles attached as needed. The Gray Fox stripping his of any non essential parts.

Felt good to go for a little ride into the country side, which included some hill clime time. Hopefully some fellow bloggers will add some pictures! Hint hint!

So we are ready to roll in the morning ...

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Lost in Barcelona ...

Ok ... So our little portion of the powton pilgrims that are in Barcelona ... First let's clear up one point ... No need to have Spain prepare for our arrival ... It's more can we handle Barcelona! We are staying down in the old town area of Barcelona, the main strip "Ramblas" has a huge boulevard down the middle, crowded is an understatement. On our first full day we set off for a little walkabout, after a little lunch stop we part into three groups ... Not one, but all three reporting in later how they got lost! Great streets to walk, just often find yourself looping back to where you started ... Let's hope our ride on the Camino is better, I hate to think of riding 1700 k.

Phones and SIM cards ... We have stooped in at "orange" a cell phone provider ... A bit of a chore but we have phone up and running. Pay as you go plans, cost was about 25 euro for 1g of data ...1000 texts ... We shall see how long it last till we need to top it up.

After recovering for our moments of being lost ... We made our way to a great restaurant ... Arcano, that Doug found on Trip Advisor. Great steaks, beefing up before our ride! Thought "carb loading " is what one should do before taking on a massive exercise adventure!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Look out Spain ... The Canadian Powton Peddle Pilgrims are on their way

The journey to Spain to ride the Camino for many of us has begone. All the training ... The sheding of pounds ... All wasted in our finals days saying good bye to family and friends. To much beer, wine and food and not enough time in the saddle, well all except the Gray Fox ... Who rode 130 k to get to Vancouver for his flight out.

Our paths start from many places, our journeys will vary, our destination the same ... Saint Palais, France, just a few k down the road from St Jean Pied du Port, the more official " start " to the Camino. Our first stop is Barcelona to hang out, get over jet lag, get our rental van, our guide Javier, our iPhone sim cards and than make drive a few hundred k to Saint Palais.

Wager on lost luggage? We have our usual long vacation backpacks ... Full of our travel clothes, I doubt we will wear it all. One extra duffle bag .. Yes that costs you more to check in , ours was an extra $60 when prebooked. The duffle bag has all our riding gear; Riding clothes, bike seats, helmets, clip in peddles and riding shoes, plus our nutrician supplements. After the ride we hope to ship the duffle bag back to Canada so we don't have to haul it around for three weeks.

So look out Spain ... Here we come ... 14 Canucks about to tackle the Camino de Santiago de Compostela ... Plus two for the final few days (No way the camino could handle the lightning peddler(s) for 15 days)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Well my bell is packed, same one we use on the Calgary Pathways. We received our Pilgrim Credential  and ready to have it stamped each day. Very much looking forward to the most popular Christian pilgrim route in the world. I am sure I will be praying a few times to get up the Pyrenees maybe I should pack a small rope to tie behind Gar's bike he probably will not notice.. Looking forward to spending time with old friends and new friendships to be made. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Peddle pigrims were almost walking

We are Riding ! It has been an interesting few days, making sure our rental bikes are going to show up on Aug 31 st. It was decided quite early on that renting bikes would be a better alternative to bringing our own. Especially since we found a company that would deliver them to our starting point, and pick them up in Santiago ... a great option since it meant we didnt have to worry about transporting the bikes around with us before and after our days riding. We will reserve commenting more about the rental company until the bikes do show up and we finish our ride.

Our Camino plan ... the bike rental company had offered us a support vehicle but could only take two passangers if any one ever needed some time off the bike. We opted to find a rental van that could take more passangers, and to be available to be used after a days ride to taxi people about if desired. We have also found a local Spaniard ... Javier ... to come along and be our driver, as well as a translator / tour guide ... well quite an easy tour guide job ... Lyn booked all our hotels along the way ... we arranged the bikes, and the rental van. Javier gets to drive the van with all our luggage from town to town and be available as we make our way along the Camino.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

In the Beggining ...

Camino de Santiago de Compostela awaits us. Us being 14 (+2 who join us for the last few days) from age 48 to over age 65 Canadians setting out on an adventure that just eight months ago, many of us had never heard of. Powtown, aka Powell River is home to half of us, the other half from other parts of western Canada. You will get know us all over our journey. We are starting our ride in Saint Palais, France. Our path, is known as the French Way, taking us over the pyrenees near Saint Jean Pied du Port. Our first night will be near Roncevalles ... than Pamplona and all the way to Santiago ... 800+ kilometers! we will start riding September 1st, and we will reach Santiago on September 15th!

Our Preparation: Watched the movie The Way with Martin Sheen, we didnt get the idea from the movie, was just interesting to first learn there was a movie, and than we watched it over and over again to give us insight into what we have ahead of us. Also read "What the Psychic told the Pilgrim" by Jane Christmas. An awesome read! Makes us both laugh at her story, and go "Oh shit what are we getting ourselves into"

Yes we trained ... well I know many of us have. As Doug likes to call it ... some of the roads ... and trails we ride are a little "off flat" .

We had great hopes of doing lots of cool rides to prepare ... we have logged many kilometers just not quite the average of 50per day for 15days we face. Nor have we rode anything like the days we climb ... the worst being the start ... 1200 meters up over a 17 k stretch!

Have no fear, we have a support van arranged ... and a driver ... so those needing to take a break for a day ... or just cant get the full days ride in they will be rescued.

This is not a race, as we have heard repeatedly on some of our training rides.