America, Countries, Europe, Sport, UK

My Sporting Weekend – Le Tour de Friends

You’d think you’d get splendid isolation at the top of the most cycled climb, Le Col du Tourmalet, but you don’t. It’s the Tour de Friends!

I have a chequered history of cycling which shouldn’t qualify me to join my fellow Scot Robert Millar in that chequered shirt as King of the Mountains.

Hiring bikes with the-then Miss F in Cabanas in the Algarve I was eating dust yards into our ride.

There’s always another mountain

While I also took a turn too sharply in the Ria Formosa in Quinta Do Lago and almost ended up in the lake.

But that didn’t put me off when I started working nights and opted to cycle in and, out of Edinburgh, through Holyrood Park to the office.

And I’ve got the lead

Never mind the Tour de France, the Tour d’Edinburgh is the real endurance test!

I’ve had lads party spray paint me when I was on my bike, been waterbombed and been knocked off my bike.

And I even had time to drop off for a bier

But I got there in the end… ‘on top of the world, Ma.’

With a little help from my friends.

I’ll let you into a secret here. I only borrowed a real rider’s bike at the top of the Pyrenees… don’t tell.

Mind you this is the Tour where the rules are there to be bent.

Whaddya mean? This is refuelling

The Tour started this weekend and I’m thinking they’ll have a devil of a time stopping the public come out to cheer.

Vive Le Tour!

And newsflash here from A Queer in Provence who has sent me his vlog on Le Grand Depart from Nice…. https://youtu.be/XQ2Udd7rcLg

Paralympic heroes

Prize guy: Ireland’s Paralympic hero Mark Rohan

As a young lad running around the UK’s boggy fields and dirty streets I always envisaged that I would get my hands on Olympic gold.

The Olympics’ loss was Newspapers’ gain.

But destiny was calling when I met Irish Paralympian hero Brian Rohan at The Campus in Quinta do Lago.

I’d thought of running off with his medal but he’d have hunted me down in that dream machine.

The Paralympics were due to have started this weekend… but it will be back in Japan next year. Don’t miss it!

Chuck me a hot dog

Fan-tastic… the Angels in Anaheim

With two thousand fans being allowed in at Brighton’s ground for their friendly with Chelsea.

And Scottish rugby bringing back a sprinkling of supporters into Murrayfield for the Glasgow v Edinburgh match.

It beggars the question… how do we get fed?

Well, here’s something we could take from American sport… the chucked hot dog.

Where’s the mustard?

As I lapped up (including the mustard) at the California Angels game in Anaheim.

Maybe pass the Bovril along the line though.

MEET YOU AT THE BALL GAME

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Stumbling on another Camino

I did it my way… which was tailgating an American friar and his group from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella, the last 100km of the French Way which begins in St Jean Pied de Port.

But there is no one definitive way of doing the Camino, thank Heavens. You may prefer to follow the route from Lourdes.

I did the first stretch the easy way this time, by coach, with Lourdes rugby player Andre who is 56 but looks 36 doing the heavy lifting of the bus up the Pyrenees, and miraculously avoiding cyclists coming the other way down the middle of the road.

We visited the beguiling Cirque de Gavarnie with its crashing 434m waterfalls and 16 summits and scaled the Col du Tourmalet, the most climbed route for Tour de France cyclists where I took a breather…. sitting in the back of a coach sure takes it out of you!

And we let the cable car take the strain guiding us up the Pic du Midi to Le 2877 restaurant, the highest in Europe, where we looked out (or down) onto the peaks.

Je digresse! And you can too, off your Camino route, to take all this in before you get back on the road, over the Pyrenees and into Spain and onto Santiago.

Caminoways.com will map it all out for you. It’s basically a case of criss-crossing ways from your starting point at Lourdes, 40kms from the international airport served in the summer season by Ryanair. http://www.ryanair.com. And you’ll see the de rigeuer bar stops that so mark the Camino.

Follow http://www.caminoways.com/travel-the-camino-from-lourdes-to-santiago.

Look out for my Lourdes Prayer and Pyrenees peregrinations in future blogs.

I have recapped my Camino from a couple of years ago here… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/(opens in a new tab). And look out too for what happened to me when I got to the end of the world. Coming soon.

MEET YOU ON THE WAY