Friday August 5th: (12th day of riding) - Last day
The bikebreaks owner, Dave, had suggested several rides during the course of the of our stay. One route, the ride around the volcano was the last one that we had not done yet. So we decided to finish up the final day of our trip with the volcano ride. We had calculated the ride to be about 55 to 60 km, a very nice ride.
It started with a ride through Girona in a counter-clockwise circular pattern then climb up to the hills. Today was much hotter that previous days, at the start of the ride it was above 30 degrees C and much more humid as well, so by the time we were at the top of the climb the sweat was just rolling off our faces and arms.
The next order of business was coffee, it was already after 10 and we knew that a little roadside cafe was not too far away on the route. So off we when down a hill, up a hill all in the heat and humidity. We came upon the cafe in a little while, only to find it not open. Shahla had heard noise inside the cafe and called inside to see when they were going to open, they responded in a moment. Five minutes later the front door opened and we had our coffee!!!
We traveled on through some gorgeous roads climbing up, dropping down all under the view of mountain peaks. A very pretty day. We stopped for lunch about 11km away from the villa in a tiny town, where tucked away was a bar and cafe that was serving lunch. Happily munched on our sandwiches knowing that this was the final lunch for the bike trip.
We headed back to the villa along GI-540. The heat was still with us and we decided to make one more stop for ice cream. Lori had persuaded everyone that it was a good idea, though she really didn't have to work too hard. We pulled into a small restaurant that we ate in the very first evening in the villa two weeks previously and they were open. In the past two weeks, we had stopped by the restaurant because they had wi-fi, but they had a very spotty record of being open. They seemed to have a special event of some sort going on and met us at the door and handed us ice cream cones through the door. I guess that didn't want a bunch of dirty smelly cyclists stinking up their special event.
It was only about 1PM and as everyone was heading back to the villa, Lori and I decided that there was one more road that was left unexplored, a small road near the villa, so we headed down it. It started off as a hard packed dirt road, turned into a dirt path before turning back into asphalt. I still need to look at the map to figure out exactly were we traveled, but we popped out near a small town south of the villa and the only way back to the villa was to continue south before turning east and hooking up with GI-533. We came across a gas station where we filled up with water and soda and then headed off for the final 10Km or so.
The route took us back over some roads that Philippe had taken us on last week, more quite winding hilly roads that we have become so fond of riding. As we pulled in the villa, bikes were being taken apart and packed for the trip back home. Since I had a rental bike all I had to do was wait for Dave the bike shop owner to pick up his bikes. The schedule time was 6PM. He and his wife arrived slightly after 6 and in no time the bikes were loaded into his van and with the closure of the van’s door, our bicycling vacation in Spain had come to an end.