Day 29 – Evening ride

We got up late after our late night and planned to resupply in town before riding out in the evening.  But once again, our plans were scuppered by the fiesta day.  All the shops were shut!  We sat outside the closed Decathlon and used their free wifi, wondering what to do with ourselves.  We decided we’d leave town that evening without our supplies and save the shopping for Barcelona (by which time there will probably be another fiesta).  So we headed into town for lunch.

Outside the Lleida cathedral

Cafe outside the Lleida cathedral

There was a nice vibe in Lleida, a gorgeous sunny Sunday holiday with people milling around and a fair on in the town park.  We went through a slightly rough part of town that reminded us of Peckham and everyone was chilling out in the street with some music on.  Then we went to the historic centre to have a look at the castle and cathedral on the hill.  It was so warm though, we moved pretty slowly!

Lleida from the top

Lleida from the top

Not moving very fast

Not moving very fast

Cathedral by the castle

Cathedral by the castle

Park siesta

Park siesta

After a mooch and finding an open shop (hurrah!), we went to sit in the park before finding a cafe for first dinner.  Then, rather unusually, we hit the road at 7:30pm.  With only 36 km to do, we thought we should make it before dark.

It was still very warm but the edge was taken off the sun’s rays as it started to sink low in the sky.  It was a beautiful ride through fields, although there was more traffic than we’ve become used to.  There was also a lot of roadkill, which we don’t normally see.  We saw a stoat-like animal, a hedgehog and a huge swollen boar, looking like it was fit to burst at any moment!  Ride past, quick!

Through fields

Through fields

Long shadows

Long shadows

We rode through the lovely town of Balaguer then off the main road onto a minor road that was heading for the mountains!  Luckily our campsite for the night was just before the first of the hills but we enjoyed riding towards them as the sun set and the sky turned orange and pink.  We had a stiff headwind by this point and were pretty glad when we saw a sign for the campsite in 1km!

Dave at sundown

Dave at sundown

At about 9:30pm we pulled into the campsite, ate tortilla in baguette, pitched up and showered.  What a lovely evening ride!  Time for a glug of Mario’s wine and then bed.

In the night, I woke up and contemplated getting up for the toilet.  We’d left the outside door open so I was looking out of the tent from inside when I saw something walk past – is that a lynx?!  Or maybe a genet!  It was definitely a massive cat with a long fluffy tail and pointy ears….

We looked it up this morning and it was most likely a wild cat, which is very exciting!  I’ve never seen one of those before.

– Anna

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