The day started out fairly chilly, and then just got worse – and I don’t mean the weather. I was putting in a new pair of contacts and the right one went in nice and easy, but the package of the left one was a bit hard to open, which was unusual. As soon as I rinsed it with saline and put it in my eye it immediately started to burn and sting like mad. I ripped it out and tossed it – I don’t really know where – and closed my eye tightly. I cried and cried it burned so bad and every time I opened the left eye it started burning again – I wondered briefly if I’d blinded it.
Because of the crying my nose was running so I took out my nose-ring so I could blow it and the nose ring fell on the floor – so there I was squint-eyed crying and on my hands and knees patting the bathroom floor trying to locate my favourite nose-ring. No luck – well at least the day can only get better, I thought – right?
I gave up on the contacts and resorted to glasses for the day. I actually wore my long pants in the car on our way to today’s stage, but brought a change of clothes with me just in case. It was about a 50 minute drive north of Burgos to the town of Sedano.
As we entered the village we were directed to a parking lot on the left – it was actually the local football field. By then it was warm enough to change into my ‘rah rah’ skirt, as Colin calls it. It’s actually an LPGA skirt with built-in shorts underneath and is very comfortable to wear.
I’m experiencing what I would call a ‘behind the scenes’ start of a stage for the first time – all of the buses and team cars began to arrive, then the riders all signed-in as each of the teams were presented – and it’s a whole different atmosphere. Once the race is actually on the riders are all very intense and this was just the opposite.
The village isn’t that large so the parking and unloading of all of the buses wasn’t easy and had to be well organized.
There were a lot of people there, and it was much more relaxed than any of the other races I’ve been to so far. All of the riders are smiling and chatting, signing autographs for kids, posing for photos, etc.
Right after all the teams had signed in and been presented a local kids’ group did a couple of traditional dances all dressed up in costume – or rather, a guy played a flute-type thing and another played a snare drum and most of the kids kind of stood in one spot and swayed a bit while the two oldest ones danced a bit. One little fellow looked quite put out with the whole thing, but he was so cute.
The riders rolled out right on time at 12:49, then we went and asked some locals where the bar was – right across the street and around the corner. We went thru the inside and out to the back patio, then I went in to order. There wasn’t really a line, and the 3 servers were working furiously to try to keep up. I had some good laughs with the old fellow beside me – one lady got her daughter to stand at the counter hoping she’d get faster service than us, but we weren’t having that. For once I had patience and just went with it.