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Trail > Back in Basque: Biking in the Sun!

Back in sunny Spain! What a difference from 5 days ago when I was cycling in Scotland, in the ice and snow! Don’t get me wrong, I loved Scotland and it was stupendously beautiful; it is always a real privilege to ride in conditions like that. Today, though,  I left the house at about midday, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and rode over to Jaizkibel, a local mountain on the coast.  I climbed to about 500m, just below the summit to check out a walking path that the government were building when I left for Christmas. Their plan is to create a long distance path, sticking to the coast, and to use local materials and environmentally friendly techniques. I couldn’t believe what they’ve done! If this was Scotland we’d be advertising it as a blue to red grade mountain bike trail with some black sections! The trail winds along the coast for about 10kms before climbing to about 500m, running along the ridge, and then descending back to the coast again. There are switchbacks, (some of which are really tight), and lots of rock sections and wee bridges. All the gradients on the climbs are doable on the bike, although some of them are a challenge! It’s absolutely fantastic, I honestly think that the designer must be a biker! So, last week was Scotland, in the ice and snow, and this week is the Basque Country, in the sun. Both are good, but very different. Continuing on the theme of good but different, the last restaurant meal I had in Scotland was an exceptional curry, in Balbiars on Church Street in Glasgow. Last night was Amaia’s birthday so we went for a meal in San Sebastian, in a restaurant that the locals are talking about. It’s a tapas restaurant and for a meal you get a series of tapas, each very unique, and the waitress explains what you’re eating and how to eat it. We started with queen olives, stuffed with a Martini gel, next was a ball of white chocolate, rolled in crumbs of Iberico ham and containing gazpacho soup. Don’t ask me how they made that! Along the way we ate red pepper ice cream and the fat from the neck of Iberico pigs! It was delicious, strange in places and thoroughly good fun! Recommended!

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