I was shouting at the distinctly uninterested cows as I struggled forward barely moving on the never ending sand track.
'TU PADRE NO HA PREPARADO LA PAELLA PARA MI??!'
It was all getting a bit desperate now. To me the answer was obvious: I hate coffee, and it was far to early in the morning to be thinking about paella. Oblivious, the voice in my earphone had me repeating the phrases until the whole exercise turned into one of catharsis (and thus the screaming at cows- they have highland cows here!!).
I had decided that listening to Paul Noble teaching me Spanish was as good a way as any to while away the hours peddling, but as I slowly ground to a halt, with the weight of my panniers sinking into the sand, Paul had moved on to ordering a table for two and it was time to switch him off and lament my stranded situation in silence. Just fantastic.
And you know what? It was fantastic, it really was. I had come to a stop just a few yards from a break in the forest, right by an entrance to a beach. Screw cycling today, it was too hot anyway- time to hit the beach!
This trip, the little I've done of it so far, has been fab. Not without its upsets and annoyances but I though I'd write down a few high and lowlights while I'm in the mood to keep track (I have a free afternoon because although I stopped for the day to surf, the 'waves' barely reach my ankles!):
1) Cycling shorts, as necessary as they are (and they really really are) make me look like I'm wearing a nappy. When combined with the combination of sweat, sun cream, sand, and windburn that I seem to be wearing almost daily, and not to mention the marsh that I fell over in the other day, I now look and smell like a very bizarre toddler.
2) This whole week I have eaten only two evening meals alone (and one of them was by choice as I had the luxury of WiFi, ergo Netflix). People have shared their food, company, stories and wine with me - too much wine: this morning it felt like someone was cracking the inside of my skull with a chisel every time my bike hit a bump in the road! Meeting people and making fast (and hopefully lasting) friends has definitely been the number one highlight!
3) I found a snake. And then like an idiot I decided to poke it to check it was dead. It was not. I jumped back, tangled into Harvey as I fell and now I have a nice big cut on my leg to remind me of my stupidity. Idiot. Don't poke snakes.
4) I am loving choosing my own pace of life. I've cycled both full days and sometimes not at all (and sometimes just plain round in circles because it hadn't occurred to me to actually get a map!)
5) The wind. I might soon start sounding like a broken record on this one... I have seen no-one travelling the same way as me so far and I've a sneaking suspicion it is because the wind is always always against me in a daily battle that one day (I hold out hope) I might just win. Turn back; I will not!
More soon to follow I'm sure, bye for now - or as Paul would have me say, ciao!!