Day 182, 11447 km
Click here for a map of my ongoing cycle ride around the world!
Yet again we sit here after a period of cycling and some vaccation. At this
moment I have just left Malaga where I met up with girlfriend Linda and family
for a week of this and that:P. One cycling day later and I sit right here,
looking out the massive rock of Gibraltar from which tomorrow I will imitate
Simba. Stand there, ROARING, with my beard flying everywhere and look out over
my next conquer, Afrika. This night is the last one here in my home continent
for a looong while! Get hype!
I left Torreviejja still wondering which route I was about to take; coast or
inland? It turned out like that my oceanspirit deep inside won, plus the reason
to pass Gato-Nijar nationalpark made the choice simple after a while. From the
pictures I saw some funny harpoon-turns which looked more than superfun! So with
a confidence all pumped up, beacuse of a new serviced bike, I took of the first
day. The legs felt quite alright although after some rest. I camped behind what
looked like a cemetery or a church surrounded by a high wall (couldn´t see
exactly which). I took out my multitool knife and started fixing my new
sleepingpad/chair case a little bit before slepping.
The next morning I rised all happy, my new sleeping pad did the work. But my
frontwheel was flat as a pancake. Strange since both the tyre and tube are brand
new? I then realized a hole in the tyre, caused by something sharp like a nail
or something. This caised the tube to be uneven inflated and then to be worn out
on the same place. So my brand new Afrika-proof tyre was useless after one day.
That sucked a bit..But shit happens=) (Sorry for 2 bad words, but sometimes
that´s the only way to describe the feeling). I threw on my foldable sparetyre
and kept on going in with hopes to replace with a similar tyre. I found my
original choice in Schwalbe Marathon plus so that will had to do. The front
isn´t as important as the back one so I felt happy.
Full throttle against Gato-Nijar and the first sweaty part since my entering in
Spain. That ment a climb up to 400 m with a front brake I struggled with. It
kept going back to be uneven but the tactics “start over from beginning” seemed
to be a winner:) I was also surprised when my whole crankset became loose. My
“so good” service guy missed the part to tighten it completely. I needed a big
torx, bigger one that I had but luckily I made it to a car mechanic who had the
tool. Lucky me!
The bike feels great today at least, I think all of us understand that you need
to fix it a little bit yourself before beeing completely satisfied.
My downhill run after the climb was short and steep, but still very fun. I felt
the salty breeze from the ocean fill the air around me and that makes me feel
lucky. What made me more happy was my found of sleeping that night. On the beach
with some nice campervans beside me and a water tap. I felt totally relaxed in a
“found” plasticchair that night:)
The rest of the distance all the way to Malaga was like one straight long
finishline. I have a bad habit of relaxing the day before something is
happening, make the feeling of that the day never ending! It felt like forever
but I finally got there, just to race through it for a meeting with a cyclehost.
Gilberto had me for 2 nights; a policeman, bicyclist, diver and also
motorcyclist. A funny guy that has been all over europe and also Morocko! We had
a lot in common and shared everything over some beer the 2 nights:) The day
before the arrival of Linda with family, I took the chance of mapping out Malaga
a bit before ending up at Ikea:) My swedish friend everywhere! Some washing that
night and I was fit for fight to meet up for another great week!
My love arrived in time and I was met by a running daughter in Astrid (3 years
old) also with a giant hug. She recognized me from my yellow t-shirt with a
print of a qoute she said before; ” Onions are clever animals”. Guess that
worked for her:P Some more hugs with Lindas parents Hanno and Berit before I
threw myself in Lindas arms with more than just hugs<3
For all the locals here in Spain it is winter and swimming in the ocean or
swimmingpool is really out of the question. But not for me and Astrid that was
just nonsense:) During our 5 sunny days here we hit the pool many times and the
ocean once with a lot of smiles over her face.
A face that can dramatically change a bit, specielly when you are 3 years old. I
had the chance to experience this from time to time. She got some fire that
little girl, but so full of energy! The birds of Malaga wasn´t safe anywhere and
I think we tried all the recreation parks along the botanical garden, which
created the path downtown.
To see the whole town in an effective way we took a ride with a horse and wagon.
Astrid picked the horse carefully, we didn´t want to pick the wrong colored
one:P. The trip took us around seeing the cathedral, bull fighting arena, the
harbour and other things in the centre before moving on.
One night when the little girl was very tired me and Linda took the oppurtunity
to be adults for a bit going out. We left Astrid with her grandparents,
shirted/dressed up and hit Pizza Pino. A night to be remembered…Just behind
Lindas shoulder in one of the pics you understand why. Here sat “the mysterious
guy” who started with giving us a bottle of wine on his tab. Me and Linda were
in the zone of goofing around with funny beerpics when this happened. The both
of us just starred on each other; what to do now? :P
We smiled and said thank you, enjoyed our great pizza meal and was getting ready
to pay. This was just after “the mystery guy” left the place. Our tab showed…0
euro! The little sneaky one had paid our tab aswell and didn’t even mentioned it
to us! We were tired and because of that probarly “hoorayed” a bit to loud. A
special night with a special girl <3
The homegoing for the group was even more painful then when we said goodbye in
Pisa. The alltime worst moment with this lovely girl is to say goodbye like
this! I felt like I came closer to her parents and Astrid,.,.well,.,.we always
have fun:) More hugs with the added river of tears was on when they left
saturday night. There was the empty cyclist yet again with a forgotten rubber
pink bracelet belonging to AStrid. Hope I can borrow it to remind myself of you?
i am wearing it together with the 2nd “engagementbracelet” me and Linda have. We
are getting one from every place we meet up on upon.
Well, tomorrow is the Rock and lionking time and then a going from either
Gibraltar or Algeciras to the otherside, as good as pizza with extra cheese:)
The donations are still going strong, makes me glad! Im very curious about how
many postcards Africa is going to deliver..a playground for camerafun!
Down below as a film from my ride over Pyreneés