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Greg Eden’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 13 Sep 2014

Location: Spain

MapDay 18 Sanxenxo to Santiago de Compostela
Set off on bikes for the 85k ride to Santiago at about 9am. Quite cool weather through mainly quiet back roads. Got very foggy at times but cleared about midday. Went through forests and over a huge bridge, through tiny villages that seemed deserted. The Spanish don't seem to get up until midday on a Saturday. Ruth and Kerry ride the whole ride with us and the pace is fairly gentle, allowing the slower riders to retain contact. Again Ruths desending keeps improving and I'm sure she has cracked over 60kph coming down a hill.  Many hills and great descents today. The gradients are generally quite gentle but the hills are still hard. Stopped for coffee at Padron on the way to Santiago and arrived about 1.30. Our hotel is a spa resort and is classic Spanish. Superb rooms and the surroundings are magnificent. It is about 3 km from the centre of Santiago and our bus driver dropped us into the centre at 3.30. Had a late lunch ay a cafe where we could watch the Vuelta live on tv. Contador won the mountain stage from Froome again and proved he is the strongest rider in this tour. All he has to do tomorrow is stay upright in the time trial and he will have it in the bag. The centre of Santiago is very old and full of art and souvenir shops. There are small alleyways everywhere. We had a look in the cathedral. A service was going on and I watched the organist for a while. There were hundreds of tourists going through it. It is a huge cathedral with masses of priceless artifacts and gold everywhere. The Vuelta finishes here tomorrow and we will be there to see the race and the presentations. We see lots of walkers with sticks and swags in the town as this is where the famous pilgrimage finishes. Apparantly more than 200,000 people now do this each year. It is an interesting and very beautiful town. We have dinner in our hotel tonight and it is very nice. The shellfish entree is a prawn and scallop in a creamy sauce and main course is baked fish done in alfoil.