Packed up our tents, had a cafe latte at the campground’s cafe, then said goodbye to Burgos. The start of today’s stage is very close – only about 14 km or so at the beautiful old Monasterio San Pedro de Cardera. El Cid is pretty big around this whole area – the monastery has a huge sculpture of him on his horse above the main door, although he’s missing most of his sword arm and part of his face.
The moto guys were having a meeting next to the statue of Christ, co-ordinating their race plans and duties, and the caterers were hanging catered lunch bags on the motorbikes (all of which are extremely nice-looking BMW’s).
I saw a monk come out the main door and a few VIP type people went with him to a smaller door on the left side – I figured they were getting a private tour so scurried over to sneak in behind them but the heavy iron door slammed shut just before I got there – rats.
Then the music started – the first song to blast out of the speakers was an AC-DC tune – at least it wasn’t Highway to Hell.
The motoriders, then the ‘civil guards’ got their group photos taken, then the teams started arriving to be introduced to the crowd and sign in.
We left near the end of the team signings rather than watch as they actually started to race. As we were passing the team cars and buses that were parked all along the road one of the riders was paying some attention to Mo so we asked if he could score us a bidon or something – he pointed to another guy and said that he’d give us something.
When we asked the other guy he said no, he couldn’t give us anything so I piped up ‘but I’m from Canada’ and turned around to show him the maple leaf that’s now pinned to my small backpack. The guy then said ‘oh – well then ok – here’s a musette (feed bag) for you – alright?’.
We barely made it out of the next town as the race was about to come thru and the road we wanted to take was blocked. We went down a side road just before it and got thru a back way onto the small highway we wanted that went the opposite direction that the race was taking.
We stopped just after the small town of Villabilla de Gumiel, where the people don’t seem too concerned about walking in the middle of the road even when cars are coming. We pulled over in a nice flat area where hay had just been cut and was just before the end of the ‘feed zone’.
The only other car that joined us was a nice young Spanish couple that we chatted with – the guy especially seems keen on the cycling races, and they are from the Basque so were quite interested that we had just been there and seen the San Sebastian Classic. Once again didn’t get any bidons or anything but the musette we got earlier made up for that.
Not too far from our next camping destination we we both feeling tired from the sun earlier so stopped for a refreshing beverage in the village of Palacios de la Sierra. The small bar was cool inside so for once we didn’t choose an outside table. When we ordered a second round told us they were closing, but we could sit outside and drink if we wished, so we ended up at the outside table anyway.
The campground just outside Quintanar de la Sierra was easy to find and we setup next to a creek/river. There are lots of tents here and only a few campervans. The wi-fi reception sucks so no online news or blog posting for me.
Drove back into the town to find a supermarket, then settled in for bacon and eggs dinner.