What did the Romans ever do for us?

So due to my unfortunate altercation with a barrier, cycling has been off the agenda for a little bit. But out of adversity comes “DuoLingo” to send me daily reminders of my “57 day Streak” and I do not mean I’m following in the footsteps of the hiker at Torcal! No, DuoLingo has awarded me so many stars and crowns for my learning efforts I’m feeling very motivated. As motivated perhaps, as Victoria on her Peloton with the Adonis screaming “YOU GOT THIS”. Well not quite, as the cartoon owl only screeches “Tienes esto” and its not quite the same.

With my new found language confidence I took myself off to FisioTarifa on Monday, managed to book an appointment in Spanish via WhatsApp! Goodness knows how I managed to explain to the Fisio what I’d done but we bumbled along and I came away with some serious KT strapping on the correct part of my body and a conclusion that it wasn’t as bad as a feared, just a lot of lickid on the knee (there isn’t “qu” in Spanish) To be fair, he was very thorough with one of those scanning things and thankfully no serious ligament damage. He commented that my Victoria Pendleton thighs were strong and that helped limit the sideways knee movement, OK, he didn’t mention Vicki….! Anyhow, I was “muy feliz” so we went for lunch before an afternoon of kite dude watching.

After a bit more rehabilitation wrapped up on a lounger watching the surfers get cold waiting for the right wave, Nick suggested it was about time I re-took my cycling proficiency test so we headed out to Tarifa as its a flat ride. If I managed to stay on my bike at the two spots I’ve come off, I was to be rewarded with an iced bun and a certificate. Thankfully I passed the test. Happy that I did as we came across the most incredible display of kite surfing we’ve seen.

There’s a small area very close to Tarifa where the conditions must have been perfect. These guys must have been pro’s, they were literally flying. Their control and graceful way they enjoyed their craft was a thrill. I hope the pictures do it justice, I’ve some great video that I’ll pop onto Facebook and WhatsApp too as I can’t here. There was a moment of hilarity and fear when two local clowns who must have been short of comedy ideas, took to stripping off and heading into the water. Watching these slightly unfit looking fellas wave jump alongside the pro’s was like watching Little and Large take on Nemo!

Airborne! Looked thrilling but dangerous when they landed on the water but these guys made it look easy!
The speed across the water must have been 30-40 mph
Check out the clown in the path of the rider…

As I’d done so well, we decided to ride out to Bolonia, which is further West of our base and involves a hill (or sorts!) As usual we arrived at the locked gates of a derelict military base so had to back track. Getting fed up with locked gates at the top of hill climbs! Bolonia is known for its expanse of beach and surfer culture but also for its Roman Ruins. The Romans were pretty smart, not only did they give us roads, sanitation, aqueducts, medicine, wine…. they knew where to build, on beautiful beaches. Its an obvious tourist draw, a super visitor centre (closed) but a really great example of a town and industry, and one that was world renowned in its day for a fish paste! We followed the trail at the back of the beach to La Duna de Bolonia and the small boats consumed by the sands on the beach. Bolonia itself was very quiet but for the usual wild campers and windsurfers but a lovely way to while away an hour watching them. We reckon we now know how to assemble a windsurf sail. We also saw for the first time, someone on a hydrofoil. Like a small surfboard with a large fin and the rider holds the kite so when up, they are flying above the water. Not something for the faint hearted!

After Bolonia, a 23 mile round trip we took a day off, staying local and not pushing it too much on my knee. A few additional pics below that amused us or captured moments. Glorious sunsets and silhouetted surfers plus our version of The Beast from the East that turned up, well Swiss actually. Was 11.5m long and yes that’s a bloke on top cleaning the skylights. The second, another home made delight!

At home we used to get excited to see a couple of Egrets, one night at dusk it seemed they decided to roost in a palm on the site. So many of them flying in and balancing precariously in the wind. They’ve not been back!

And we cant go without some Euro Gato news, here she is deciding whether to try surfing. She’s also patrolling the edge watching out for boats collecting the products from the meth lab in the corner (just kidding obviously!)

Me and my cat

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