Thursday Sept. 22nd?

Dear Family & Friends,

A quiet and relaxing couple of days to report on. We rode down from the mountain town of Cuenca to the Mediterranean coastal town of Benicassim .
As soon as we arrived here it felt like Spain’s version of Santa Barbara. It is off season here so it is very quiet and very reasonable.. We checked into our hotel which is literally right on the beach. We had reserved a standard room for $55 per night but decided to splurge and get an ocean facing room with a balcony for a whopping $65 per night! An a very clean modern room too. You could vacation here for a couple of weeks for less than the cost of air fare!
We originally planned to only spend one night here but Duane’s arm is really bothering him so we thought we could find worse places to have a little R&R.
Basically it has been two days of total relaxation. This morning Kim and I got up and did a nice 5 mile walk around town. We both can’t figure out when people do business here. The stores say open from 9:30am to 2pm and 5:30pm to 9pm but even after 9:30am we found very little open.
It is the off season so it is pretty quiet here. We asked a local where the tourist come from and she said tourist come from all over but most of the local homes are owned by people that live in a  town 20 miles inland! They own two homes and spend their summers here by the beach.. What a great life.
After our morning walk we went to the bar and had a noon time Sangria, or as Kim has named them “Nap in a Glass”. So after one LARGE drink I took a two hour nap.. Very nice. 🙂 After that I actually went swimming in the sea and then in the hotel pool. And of course after all that activity it was time for another nap.
This evening we went out to dinner around 7:30pm which by local standard is very early. Most restaurants don’t open until 8:30 or later.
We did find a nice place over looking the sea and of course started out dinner with a Sangria. I had sea food Paella and it was the best I have had so far on the trip, but still not as good as my wife makes..
Tomorrow we had originally planned to ride up the coast to Monaco but there is really no easy coastal road from where we are. That doesn’t start for another few hundred miles so I have found a great alternative. First thing in the morning we ride north from here to one of the worlds smallest countries, Andorra, located in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. From what I can see it is located in the Spanish version of the Alps so the ride should be spectacular! The country itself is about the size of a large city or county in California and it is a tax free haven and ski resort. The place lives off tourism so it should be fun. The next day we will ride down the other side of the mountain back to the coast along the French Riviera. Tough ride.
A posted a few photos of today’s activities in my blog below. Should have some good photos tomorrow.
Discussing where the hell are we???

A fine road side establishment we stopped at for breakfast on the way to the coast.

This is what you get when no one at the restaurant speaks a word of English and my Spanish vocabulary is minimal at best.. Strong coffee and a chorizo sandwich. The breakfast of champions..

Parking in front of our hotel. Looks like Santa Barbara?

One tired rider soldiering on with a bad arm.. 🙁

This is what real organic fruits and vegetables look like. Healthy but not perfect, different colors, flaws, and defects but probably far healthier than ours.

Quiet downtown around 11am.

Even here they do not tolerate illegal parking.. Looks like this is going to be expensive.

Some local Political Graffiti.


Paella time! A traditional dish of Spain made of rice, saffron and in this version various seafood.. 🙂

“Nap in a Glass”, Sangria which is basically red wine, a couple of different liqueurs, and fresh fruit..

Just so you know my wife Bonnie is currently having  great time in Bergamo, Italy with one of her oldest friends, Robin, and the young Italian blonde woman, Nicky, lived with us for year about 20 years ago when she was an exchange student. A wonderful young lady! Next week Bonnie and Robin meet us in Venice for a week of fun together..

Not a bad view. Certainly worth the $7 up grade cost to a whopping $65 per night..

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