Picture of the Week

18 January 2014

Week 02: Lars in Alicante

Filed under: — Administrator @ 08:30

I came back from Poland on January 7th around lunchtime, and in the evening my friend Lars came from Denmark to spend a week with us, as he does every January. The benefits of a visit by Lars are many, not least homemade pasta and pizza, and great cycling together. He always makes me go to places where I have not cycled before, and this time was no exception.

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But first some dog walk pictures to signal the return home. I noticed some sorry remnants of New Year’s Eve a week earlier:
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Abandoned construction sites are not all bad. They serve as useful homes for the many cats around here:
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Another one of “my” golf course kitties:
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Bench in the park. This is a favourite spot for the teenagers from the neighbourhood to hang out in the evening:
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And now to Lars’s visit.

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On Saturday, we were to do a long bicycle ride in the mountains, so Friday night Lars prepared a meal of homemade pasta, lamb chops and lots of veggies. Here he is, using our pasta maker. He is the only one who ever uses it:
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Closer look at the pasta production line:
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Putting on the finishing touches:
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Ready to eat. The bread is also homemade:
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Saturday morning, and we are on our way up to the town of Ibi. After that, the plan was to return home via a mountain pass at an altitude of 1020 metres, a place which I had never visited on bicycle:
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This the kind of landscape we cycled through:
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At this point, we are about 35 km from home. Shortly after I took this picture, it started raining, and it did not take us long to conclude that we should turn around and go home. The problem was not riding uphill, but we knew that there was a long descent from the mountain pass along a curvy road, not something we wanted to negotiate in the rain on slick, narrow racing tyres. Still, we ended up cycling close to 80 km that day, with a significant amount of climbing:
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In late afternoon, we went to visit the art museum in the centre of Alicante. At the Plaza Puerta del Mar, we saw a new kind of busker:
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On Sunday, the weather was beautiful and clear. We decided to make another attempt to reach the mountain pass, and this time we succeeded. The first 25 km were the hardest. After that, it was matter of pacing myself and looking forward to the next hill. Finally, we reached the pass in mid-afternoon. There were a couple of other visitors who had come up there on four wheels:
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We got them to take a victory picture of us. Keep in mind that I live at sea level, so getting to this pass involved significant climbing:
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Pictures taken, banana eaten. Lars is putting on an extra interior layer for the long descent ahead of us. It was not really cold, around 17-18 degrees, but we knew that the would be rolling downhill for a long time, and that can get cold:
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And this is where we started to roll downhill. With a few interruptions, the descent went on for almost 30 km. Altogether, we cycled 98 km that day, with about 1350 metres of climbing. Not bad for two overweight guys (me more than Lars), aged 53 (me) and 54 (Lars). We certainly enjoyed the beer once we got home:
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