I`ve had my tent set up in the exclusive neighborhood of Homair Village in the Sant Miquel Campground.
Quiet, clean, electricity, near the pool, every morning greetings from Gloria, Richard & Saloma.
GLORIA IS FROM ZIMBABWE, SHE RUNS EVERY MORNING, TOTALLY IMPRESSIVE.
She wants to turn her home into a bed and breakfast back in Zimbabwe. Her boyfriend came from the U.K. and visited her while I was here. She was so dressed up in a colorful dress, I wish I had the photo to show, she was gorgeous.
I was talking on facetime one evening when a inebriated camper stopped by and invited me to dinner. The next day I figured he wouldn`t remember, I was wrong. They were two families from Belgium with 7 kids together, they almost had their own soccer team. Just as the BBQ was starting the rain clouds were forming. Just after I took this photo, the rain poured down. We moved dinner to an empty cabins deck that had a canopy. I`ve never seen so many great salads at one meal that wasn`t at a buffet restaurant. All the kids seemed to get along really well, it was an awesome family experience for me. Thank you so much,I will never forget.
GEERTJE, LOUISE, LICILE, CELINE, SERGE, JULIE, KRISTOF, MICKAEL,WALDO, CECILE, PASCAL
I`ve been getting invited to dinner with different cabin campers. We had chicken curry with rice, below.
ALEXANDRE, SEGOLENE, CHRISTIAN & AARON were from Paris.
I`ve been watching Alexandre and Aaron play ping pong, they`re good. As a former ping pong table owner, I think I`m good too. We played some after dinner, I sliced the ball into the hedge and it was lost. I did go back in the morning and find it. I`m waiting for the rematch, after they return from Barcelona.
REMATCH~I beat Aaron but Alexandre beat me twice, I knew they were good.
I can`t stop applauding Sant Miquel Camping, nearly every night there`s an event.
Lots of people there knew the songs they were playing, everyone had a great time. If the restaurant isn’t having entertainment, the COLERA DIVE CENTER (also on FACEBOOK) has a meet & greet for divers and campers.
On BBQ night they had an entertainer, Steffi, who sang and danced for hours. She worked the crowd into a frenzy of dance and celebration.
STEFFI, SINGING HER HEART OUT
She asked if there were any Americans here? One, me. I was wearing my Trail Blazers Jersey that has PORTLAND across the chest. I got a big round of applause, representing. There were a few Spaniards, but mostly French.
TETE AND VALENTINO BBQ THE THICK BACON.
They slipped me a few pieces, WOW. The restaurant does a great job with the food here, everything I`ve eaten has been great.
But what makes Sant Miquel Camping special are all the people.
BOTH SALOMA AND RICHARD WORK AND LIVE HERE.
GLORIA, DOLORES, MARIA AND ANTONIO
Gloria put together an awesome American breakfast, eggs, cheese, BACON, tomato, bread, orange juice and coffee. Maria made me these sandwiches Ham, cheese and Tomato on french bread, then toasted. I ate one nearly everyday.
DAMIA POOL LIFEGUARD AND ICE CREAM SALESMAN
CAMERA SHY SUSANA THE SUPERMERCADO BAKER AND CHOCOLATE CROISSANT SUPPLIER.
IF THIS WAS ME I WOULD BE SMILING, TONI?
LIKE THIS=MELISSA, ME (smiling), MARGOT
RUMBA NIGHT AT THE CAMPGROUND
I got a farewell photo from Susana the supermercado baker and more
THANKS FOR THE PHOTO SUSANA
My offer of 20 euro still stands if you ride our bike to work
Im off to France today and my box still hasn’t arrived WTF?
Im still in Colera, waiting for my box from Seville. 2 weeks here? Filled with adventure, not for a lifetime? but for now. I tried to send my Moroccan daggers (knives) to the U.S., NOT ALLOWED! I can buy a semi-automatic gun in the U.S. that can be far more destructive than a dagger. So I wait 5 days, then bike to post office, box is still in Seville. They wont send with the daggers. So I sign a paper giving them permission to open box and remove daggers. Thats all that a really want that is in the box, the other stuff is T-shirts and rocks. So another 5 days? Who F__ing knows? Again Im not suffering in Colera, it has been my favorite stop of ALL. But Neil Young is playing in Nimes, France July 17 and I plan on being there box or no box. I bought and was given some ART from Nuria, so the new Box will be BIG.
The north, east, south and west locations have been a mystery to me. I know the sun rises in the east, but where? So I got up before the sunrise, rode my bike to the dock that sits in Colera Bay and waited.
HERE IT COMES
AND HERE IT IS, (from the east) LLANCA is a fishing village down the road. If you look closely (enlarge), you can see a small fleet of fishing boats commuting to work.
With all these added days here, I`m going down the list of things to do. There are trails through the mountains and along the beach. So I hiked to Llanca, to check on the box and visit the town.
WALKING THE SHORE WAS AWESOME
I know where every hidden cove and nude beach is along this part of the coast.
THERE ARE SO MANY PRIVATE HIDDEN BEACH COVES
Like I`ve said before, I like to give back to the places I visit, not just visit and take. I carry plastic bags with me to recycle for shopping. So I decided to use one for picking up garbage along the beach. I`ve heard about the environmental impact of plastic on MARINE LIFE.
THIS IS WHAT I FOUND DURING MY 2 HOUR HIKE.
I put it in the garbage can in the photo. There was lots of plastics, the planet needs all of us to protect the planet for us and future generations.
So in case your not aware of Siesta? Shops close for 2 to 4 hours in the middle of the day. So basically Llanca was a ghost town.
I decide to hitchhike back to Colera. I`m wearing my TOUR DA FRANCE t-shirt, hoping that helps. 30 minutes and no ride, locals tell me hitchhiking is something that is not practiced here, it`s pretty obvious. Finally a car pulls over I tell them I`m going to Colera, I get in. They were from Paris, maybe 25 years old, they said they saw my shirt and thought I was from Paris, score. The shirt worked, when I told them I was from America I got a ride right to the camground.
THIS WAS A SIGN/LOGO AT A FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SHOP IN LLANCA
THE SHOP SELLS BULK OLIVE OIL TOO!
One of the best things about bike touring is having a bicycle to explore the local areas. I asked the people who work here and live in Llanca if they had ever biked to work?, none had. I decided to bike, it took 20 minutes. They told me it took 10 minutes to drive. Again, I showed up in Llanca during siesta, everything was closed, again. I wanted to try the train to go back to Colera. They basically have a MAX (my home town commuter train name) that serves a community of less than 600 people. (more about this later in my Spain summary post).
So I bike to Llanca, EARLY, I want to visit the shops, when their OPEN! My front wheel is shaking, I don`t know what is causing it?
I`m getting frustrated about this box thing. I decide to bike to PORTBOU because when I finally leave here I intend to ride straight to France. I`m climbing a hill and my tire comes off the rim, the tube wraps around the quick release and I go down flipping over the handle bars. Thankfully I wasn`t going downhill, fast, it would have been ugly. But as I lay on the pavement in a heap the reality of traveling alone, comes to light. I have to be so careful, it could get ugly in a split second. While trying to repair the problem, 3 sets of touring cyclist came by.
It is so great to see other cyclist enjoying some of the most beautiful riding I`ve ever done.
Back to the tire repair~so I spent an hour and a half messing around with the tire. I`m half way to Portbou, so I decide to walk the rest of the way to town. I photographed the train schedule and have used it several times. I decide to take the train to FIGUERES since google maps says there are 4 bike shops there. Guess what? Yep It`s siesta time, the town is half closed and so are all 4 bike shops. I`ve got 3 hours to kill, so I look for the SALVADOR DALI MUSEUM.
The egg is a Dalinian image that symbolises hope and love. Holding an egg (a favourite Dalinian symbol representing duality of hard exterior and soft interior, and links with pre-natal imagery) that here could represent reproduction, the sexual drive, or life instinct.”
There was a long line to get in so I just visited the many souvenir shops. I think one of the most interesting aspects of Dali`s art is his PHILOSOPHICAL thoughts on life and art.
I head back to the train station and retrieve my bike. The bike shop tries to tell me it just needs some air. I explain that the tire won`t seat properly and comes off the rim. He tries ro fill the tire with air and sees what I`m trying to tell him. New Shwalbe tire, AWESOME. I swap my front and back tires so they wear evenly, I just did it. So back at camp I swap my new tire to the back, so now the tires should wear out at the same time. That helps maximize your tires potential longevity. I cleaned my chain using my old tooth brush and camp suds soap then hosed it off.
I ran into this French traveller who was doing a similar trip to mine, but with a scooter.
THIS IS NICKOLIS (check out the Bob Marley sticker)
Till next time, be sure to ride your bike as much as you can (while you can!)
I know this blog is JEFFS BIKE TOUR, but part of bike touring is the freedom to do what comes down the road. This little town of Colera came down the road. I don’t have to catch a bus, train or plane just pedal to my next destination. So I took a little vacation from traveling, to enjoy the sights.
Went snorkeling yesterday, me & 4 (non english speaking) older French scuba divers. All that scuba equipment is so encumbering, snorkeling is so simple and fun. The Mediteraean isn’t the great barrier reef, but it was just me and the guide, so we saw a lot of sea life. We saw a MORAY EEL some starfish, coral, and some fish. He brought some bread & that brought the fish. There was a migration of Monk Fish, they had a shark like fin jetting out of the water.
THERE WERE NUMEROUS SIGHTINGS COLERA DIVING CENTER is a well run operation & affordable. Its a great place for beginners to learn to dive. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. The boat that took us out was super fast and comfortable.
THIS IS TETE MY UNDERWATER GUIDE AND ONLY ENGLISH SPEAKER ON THE BOAT
Like I said earlier the boat was great
OUR CAPTAIN DAVID , ME AND TETE
After a fun morning on the water I stop by to see the artist, Nuria. She is a hard worker, art doesn’t
THIS IS ONE OF HER CERAMIC LAMPS.
She a genius artist, but like most artist not very good at business, she didn’t even have business cards. I suggested she make a sign for her Studio/Gallery, in 3 languages spainish, french & English. Said she was going to when she got back from camping and would send me a photo. I thought we were going to go to dinner, nope. We were headed to her community garden plot, that needed some help. Its so windy here at times you could see the top soil flying away. After weeding for an hour I suggested (I have my master gardener certificate) that we cover the soil with the weeds we pulled and after they dry out, dig them into the soil. At my garden at home I plant a cover crop of crimson clover, that supplies both nitrogen and mulch to the soil.
THIS IS A NURIA AND HER FRIEND SIETA (?)
Nurias art is all over town.
THIS IS A FULL SIZE CERAMIC MERMAID THATS AT THE CAMPGROUND
I hadn’t seen the sculpture yet,cars were always parked in front of it. People come from all around to eat here. She didn’t know the english name for mermaid, so she called it WOMEN FISH.
THIS ISTHE FISH POND AT THE CAMPGROUND
You all know how much I like hiking, NOT. But they really promote several hikes around here,so here I go. I make one failed attempt and decide to get up early the next day and make another try. I head to the abandoned town of Molinas. I must be getting close,but then a van comes driving up and of course I try to hitchhike, I get a ride and he speaks english,score. He said the last person he expected to see on this road was an American. I told him this is the last place I thought I would be considering Im doing a bike trip. He lives nearby and had never been to Molinas, he came to photograph the remains of the town.
THERES MORE PHOTOS ON THE LINK AT THE END
I ride by some hikers from the campground, they accuse the American of taking the car all the way.
I stay and hang around the photographer, we meet a young couple who got a 20 year lease on one of the houses if they fix it up. I don’t want to leave his side, english. but I head out to the Molinas CASTLE. there wasn’t much left of the castle.
THE ARCHWAY WAS PRETTY AMAZING
Walking does have its advantages, you can see so much. The cactus are blooming now
THE BEES WERE WORKING THE CACTUS FLOWERS
WHILE HIKING I WOULD COME TO SPOTS THAT HAD BUTTERFLIES EVERYWHERE, HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE PLANET.
So Im somewhat aimlessly hiking and I come upon this bench.
IM IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE AND THERES THIS STONE BENCH WITH WATER TRICKLING OUT A SMALL PIPE.
I continue my hike, trying to find the Church of Sant Miquel
I CAN SEE IT FROM THE TRAIL, BUT CANT FIGURE OUT HOW TO REACH IT?
I give up and hike back, I come to the stone bench again. Ive had a landscaping business for 25 years and decided to apply my skills. I pulled the berry vines & weeds, swept up using a yep, a scotch broom branch.
THIS IS THE WRONG PHOTO THE RIGHT ONE IS AT THE END OF THE BLOG?
I was walking the beach the other day, found a plastic bag and filled it with garbage I found on the beach. Later a resident said she saw me and thanked me. I told her you cant just take from places you have to give back.
Im hiking back and my feet have given up. I hear a car coming, I stick out my thumb, presto 2 rides in one day! Im walking the road back to camp and what do I see, a short cut to the SANT MIQUEL CAMPGROUND.
THATS THE CAMPGROUND, HIKED THE TRAIL AND JUMPED THE FENCE IM HOME!
I head straight for the pool and see my fellow hikers, they cant believe I just got back, they said they had a siesta.
Tonight the Diving company is having a little meet and greet.
DELORES (hostess in rest.) & SERGE (dive shop owner) SERVING UP SANGRIA FOR FELLOW DIVERS
They had a least 50 people show up for the meet and greet.
CONSIDER THE POPULATION OF COLERA IS 575 THIS IS A LOT OF PEOPLE.
I was going to leave Colera June 1, but theres a problem. I sent a box from Seville, Spain with all my souvenirs from Morocco. I kept asking my friends if they got the package yet? NO,NO,NO. So Im about 5 miles from France so if Im going to sort this out, its now. Nuria drove me to the next town that had a post office. They scanned my receipt and found that the package is sitting on a shelf in Seville. Why? good question, they couldn’t tell me why. So their sending the package to the Post Office here. It could take 3,4,5 days? Its not like Im suffering here, I needed an excuse to stay longer and I got one. Now I can rebox and add the stuff I bought since Seville. Its all good in the end.
The new photos are HERE
Their way down there, maybe from the art park down
I hope you all appreciate this blog between writing and downloading 7 to 8 hours, its a job, that I love.
till next time
THIS IS THE CLEANED UP BENCH PHOTO, I DONT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?
I really wanted to post these 2 pictures of the sunset sky llast night.