Today’s ride is sponsored by Oak by Design

Ardales – Castellar de la Frontera

“Backup”

The penultimate day of 85 miles. We were heading for the coast so today would be mainly downhill and straight forward. So we thought!

On the previous evening we had dinner at camp and got our stuff ready for the following two days as we would not have backup and would have to carry everything we needed to get to Africa. All was well and a relatively early night. Then it started. Lola, our Fox red Labrador who has been with us on this trip started barking and would not stop. We checked around the camper and nothing seemed to be amiss. As soon as I dropped off to sleep again she would bark. What is wrong with her? She has been so good throughout the trip. Then when we looked out of the camper window there was a fox 🦊 quite a big fox and it seemed very tame and it would not go away. Unfortunately, Lola did not stop barking all night as it prowelled around outside so I had very little sleep and got up a bit grumpy and very tired but hey we are nearly there. It was once again a cold start so we were all wrapped up well. We also had our backpacks which probably weighed in at about 10lbs which doesn’t sound much but we soon found it made a big difference in our first climb which was about 5 miles long. This was a bit of a surprise to us as we were heading to the sea so we thought it would be a steady decent. Oh no after the climb we had a good downhill for 10 miles then as we headed to Marbella we climbed again this time for about 8 miles up to an altitude of 2000 feet, this can’t be right we are only 6 miles from the sea! Then a clap of thunder the rain came then the hailstone just as we began to decend it was steep long winding road but the hail was belting us and we had to keep the speed at a steady pace for the fear of sliding on a bend. Before we knew it we were in Marbella and time for a beer. The rest of the day was fairly normal apart from about 20 miles we had to do on the motorway so it was heads down backside up and nail it to the hotel.

This was the first time we had not had backup therefore we had to take everything for the night along with making sure we covered every eventuality with the tired worn out bikes. It makes you realise how important our backup was to us and there is no way we could have done it without them. Them as the core backup Kathleen and Kayleigh, what a team they were they had packing and unpacking of to a T they both knew what to do and where everything went but that was nothing, the support they both gave in so many ways was amazing. I am so proud of my daughter, Kayleigh who has put her career on hold just so she could come on this last phase after obtaining her degree, she has done all the website, blogs, flyer designs on top of all the backup, then she proof-read all the blogs so they made sense. Kayleigh has been a star and we would not have been able to do the ride or raise the money for Alzheimer’s if it were not for her. Love you to bits Kayleigh bobs xxx

We mustn’t forget the irreplaceable Kathleen the support and love she has given to us all has been extraordinarily, it’s not just the driving of the camper, having the recovery drinks ready, making dinner, cleaning kit……… the list goes on but more than anything the Smile 😃 when we come in and putting up with our moods whatever they maybe. I did this in memory of Eric a man who was so important in my life and who I loved so much. Kathleen has always supported me in all my crazy endeavours, these are NOT holidays for her no time for that. Kathleen you are amazing and from all the boys we love ya for putting up with us. From me you are everything and I love you “Allways” (Kayleigh, it’s meant to be spelt that way, mum will know)

Sean