Guess how the day started? Right: raining! We left at 7 o’clock, to escape from the traffic of the great city of Bordeaux but there was already traffic at that time. It took me some 80 minutes to get out of town. In an hour I did only 17 km.
When we left the city a big downpour took over, at this point my knee was hurting a lot, not only because of some slopes I’ve done, but also because of the heavy rain.
I had so much pain that I stopped a few minutes and asked Patrick to stop at the nearest pharmacy to see what was wrong. After this situation, I cycled some good 20-30 km on the same road, almost always empty. This allowed me to manage the stress in the knee which in the meantime became better. We stopped at the pharmacy to ask for medical advice on my knee. Interestingly, one Portuguese guy worked there and was very nice to us. First called a specialist to put me some long adhesives on the knee, but the doctor said it would not be useless. We were looking at ways to improve my condition until a lady, who was a medical expert, walked in the pharmacy. The lady did not speak English, but our dear compatriot did the translation. The news were not the best. The doctor said that I should Stop biking NOW. The risk of making a rupture of ligaments of the knee, could lead to an surgery and not less than six months of recovery time. I was shocked with the news. I became very sad but promptly said that I could not stop! From there on we had to find other solutions. One of such, was the placement that you can see here.
The pharmaceutical said it would not help much but at least it would keep the knee static. I have to say, happily, that he was wrong. From the moment I put this on my knee, the pain stopped.
However, this was not only downside of this day. After about 20 minutes of leaving the pharmacy, I saw a big storm coming in my direction. There were thunders but I continued on my way until I saw a lightning striking the ground 200 meters away from me together with a lot of rain and a roaring sound that came shortly after. It was clear that the storm was right there and so I decided to stop. When I stopped, the storm continued its path and across the highway, about 200 meters ahead of me, I saw lightning hitting the ground once more. I was then really afraid! The day was not going well. Patrick was ahead of me and sent me some text messages. Patrick said: “you’ll get rain, in 10-15 km, that you have never seen before”, “It is a thunderstorm, so when it gets to you get under something” and finally “lightning hit the ground about 100-200 meters from me, even the dog jumped up.” I don’t need to say anything else do I? The day was not to be easy.
After that, we entered a very rural area with large plantations and a long road. This to say that there were no national roads. Now, with no national roads, our driving directions were useless. We then had to go always by the highway, from one side to the other, always toward San Sebastien. We went a bit off course because at one point there was no longer any road next to the highway.
The weather was getting better and it actually became very warm. Patrick told me afterwards that there were 35 degrees Celsius for about 2 or 3 hours. I drank a lot of water at that time, not only because of the heat but because the pharmaceutical told me that I should drink a lot of water (apparently helps the ligaments)
At one point we found the D810 that guided us along the coast up to San Sebastian. At about 20 km from the target city, it started to get sunny … hahaha, I’m kidding …It started raining again and got worse because I still got mountains to climb.
We reached the destination at 23:30. While Patrick parked I took a deep breath, lying on the floor, relieved for that day had come to an end, but it seemed not. Upon check-in, we were told that Diamond (dog) could not enter. We ended up saying that we could not sleep in the hotel. We sought places to stay for an hour (after that day, that seemed more like 1 year), but we couldn’t find anything. We decided then, that Diamond had to sleep in the car and we in room (poor dog!).
As this region is quite busy in the summer, I could not get a reservation for 2 persons, so the room had only one bed and we couldn’t both fit in it. We took the mattress to the floor and I slept on top of the bed wooden bars that are under the mattress. I woke up several times with problems to turn myself but I cannot say that I slept badly.
Another day passed, to later remember. Now I am using these two days of rest here in San Sebastian to rest and heal my knee as much possible. So, I will not quit. Only if I feel that my physical integrity is at risk. Until then, I will fight with all the weapons I have. Behind us are Switzerland and France. I hope that Spain is much better.
Best of the Day:
Was undoubtedly the knee that have behaved very well after putting the medical accessory, that helped a lot. I was somewhat relieved after doing 220 km with that knee, and went very well.
Worst of the day:
The first few hours were terrible. All that happened to the knee and the lightning made these the darkest hours of this trip.
Distance traveled: 260 km
Total ascent: 1’100 meters
Time: 11:00 Hours
Average speed: 23.6 km/h