Category: Flowers

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 3

Another bright looking morning – sunny but not yet too hot.  After some nice tea we left the lovely aire and headed to our next destination a little bit northeast just outside the village of Cereceda.

We picked a spot just past the summit of the climb in one of the only pullouts available.

We had lunch as other vehicles started to come along looking for spots to park – there weren’t that many but some cars did venture onto the verge, as well as some motorbikes.

The area around here reminds me of home.

We put up one flagpole with three flags and they did fly well although it became extremely windy.  We had to put an extra bungee at the bottom to keep them from tilting – we wouldn’t want to be those ‘stupid fans’ that let something fall in the path of the riders!

There was a breakaway of four to the top of the Alto la Varga and was taken uncontested by a young rider from Caja Rural.

I still smile and wave at almost everyone that comes past – campervans, team cars, motos, police – and so many of them either wave back or at least toot their horns.  

One moto cop stopped at the line for a couple of minutes and chatted a bit – the peloton was 2 km behind and would take a couple more minutes to arrive.  He gave a big smile and went on his way.

The peloton arrived about seven minutes after the breakaway, and I got a photo of both of the Yates twins – now riding for different teams – near the back of the pack.

After the race had passed and we’d taken down the flags we were on our way again – this time back south past Burgos to get somewhere along the route of stage 4.

Olympic news:  Damian Warner has won the gold for Canada in the decathlon!!  Way to go!!  And Andre de Grasse has won the gold in the 200 metres!  Way to go Canada!

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 2

After yet another rain storm during the night we woke to fairly pleasant weather.  In no particular hurry we had breakfast then headed northeast to the village of Monasterio de Rodilla.

We once again followed the route for a ways in the opposite direction, then turned around and went back to a spot we’d passed by.  It was a decent sized pullout with good views back along the road.

Again there was a breakaway of five riders, and again all from local teams.

The peloton was only about three minutes behind this time.

After the last racer passed one of the team cars – Qhubeka – pulled to the side of the road almost across from us.  He flagged down the ambulance and had a word with them.

They turned around just ahead of us and went back the other way – we assumed that a rider had crashed and the ambulance had to go back for him.  We hope he’s alright.

We got going quickly and scooted up to today’s finishing city of Briviesca, where there was another lovely free aire.  

After getting organized we took the doggies out for the short walk down to the finishing area.

There was a nice bench just waiting for us about 250 metres from the line so we sat down and relaxed for the short wait – and guess what?  We’re on the Camino again – imagine that!

The peloton had caught the breakaway, as expected, and they all tore around the corner just below us and blazed past as one big bunch.

Some of the locals were watching from their apartments across the street…

Walking back to the campervan we passed the place where all the police motos had lined up – they thought it was quite funny I was taking a photo of their parked BMW’s.

We stopped at an outside table at a bar along the way and got a refreshing beverage, then on back to the aire to relax and have a light dinner.

Vuelta a Burgos Stage 1

After trying out the oven for the first time – roast chicken! – we treated ourselves the next night to a meal in the campground’s restaurant.  We had a lovely smoked salmon and asparagus salad for a starter and both chose the veal with potatoes as a main.  I don’t often opt for veal but it was pretty good.

The water seems to stop at least once or twice a day – there’s been a tanker truck filling up the pool and other things to compensate for the shortage.

On Tuesday morning we got going at a decent time to find a place on the route for the first day of the Vuelta a Burgos – another of our favourite races.  We were accredited photographers two years ago and had applied again this year, but due to covid restrictions were regretfully turned down this year.

We headed southwest from the campground and picked up the route in the reverse direction.

After passing Santa Maria del Campo we turned around and backtracked to Pampliega, a picturesque town on a river where we decided to stay and watch/photograph from.

As we had some time we took the doggies for a walk around the village – uphill to the main part of town.

After asking a local fellow where a cafe/bar was – in Spanish! – we found the place we were directed to and stopped for refreshments, then on to the church that overlooks everything.

The door was open so I went inside – the stained glass windows weren’t that great but everything else was outstanding.  I got ready to take my first photo but a fellow inside immediately said ‘no photos’, and pointed to a sign on the wall that I hadn’t seen.

It was a shame I couldn’t take photos – it was by far the most interesting church I’ve been in for a long time.  Like in many churches the ceilings soar and are vaulted and the walls are covered in sculptures.  But they also had a ‘wing’ with priests’ vestments behind glass – a whole bunch of them.  Some looked like they were embroidered in gold thread and lots of silk.  Also a display case that contained some relics, including some very old-looking scrolls.

Returning to the campervan we re-conned some possible spots to shoot from.  There’s a fairly sharp turn before the riders get onto the bridge and we hoped that would slow them down a bit.

The river, along with the lovely park and walkways was a great attraction and thoughout the morning more and more locals arrived to swim and fish.  They also opened both of the kiosks at each end of the park area and must have done a good business.

There was a good crowd gathered, and the race arrived with five in the breakaway – I got a pretty good shot of them coming across the bridge.

They were all from local Spanish teams and had been allowed to get a seven minute gap on the peloton.

I didn’t recognize too many riders in my photos but there are a lot of big-name racers here.  It’s a good warmup race for the Vuelta a Espana later this month.

After the racers had all passed we took our time going back to Santa Maria del Campo where there was a very nice free aire for the night.

Colin got his drone up for the first time but the strong wind made it difficult to nagivate – it ended up in a tree, but we did manage to retrieve it safely and without damage.

Dinner Out, and Brain Piercing

On Friday evening we went out for dinner – we had an outside table and it was lovely – luckily almost the whole area was covered by large umbrellas as it rained off and on almost the whole time.

I made a very nice choice – duck breast with goat cheese sauce and roast potatoes.  It was just delicious and I didn’t even have anything leftover for breakfast – highly unusual!

The next afternoon we went and had a very nice visit with Colin’s friend Jane.  She has a beautiful house a short walk away right on the river and we had a lovely time sitting outside overlooking the large garden and swimming pool.

The neighbour’s cat likes to spend time here – a very cute calico.

Another bike ride on Sunday took us over 41 km in all, including a stop in Aigre for a fairly good cafe creme.

We also popped in for a quick visit with Joyce in Fontenille – Tony was out at the time.  It had just started to rain when we arrived and during our short visit it just poured out.

Luckily there was a break and we made a run for it, arriving home without getting drenched.

We’ve started getting organized for our next trip, including me getting another covid test swab.  I thought – ok, I’ve had one before, this shouldn’t be anything different – wrong!!  I had to stand in the parking lot of the lab/testing place and the swab that approached me was huge.  I went to take out my nose stud and the doctor kind of laughed and said ‘no – not necessary’.  What I think he was really thinking was ‘no – it doesn’t matter at all – we’re going way further in than that’!

It was awful!  I tried to pull away a bit but couldn’t.  I had read a couple of months ago that people described the ‘swabs’ as almost piercing their brains, but after the one I had before I left Canada I thought they were exaggerating, but now I don’t think they were.  I’ve never had anything that far up my nose in my life – it was horrible, but I did survive, and I better pass the test!