Sorry for the late publishing of this blog, this day was always going to be epic and the recovery from it slow!
There was a palpable sence of both excitement, mixed with a tinge of regret that this was to be our last day, the day we had been working towards for so long, yet the day that we had purposefully decided not to think about during our journey.
Once we opened the van doors and realised the "Bikes" we had rented were a complete load of rubbish, all emotion was put aside as we spent two hours literally cobbling the bikes back together so that everyone could have a ride.
The last day peloton
met us at a venta - which was shut - so we decamped into the BP petrol station, hardly the ideal setting I had imagined. It was very strange seeing people who we had last said goodbye to in the UK - some after just the first day , again emotions were high, wonderful to see everyone and yet I have to admit to feeling this new large group almost an intrusion into our tightly formed team.
Once we had got everyone onto a bike that almost worked , we set off for the coast and any negative feelings we completely eradicated at the sign of a large peloton all with their tourdesands shirts on .
The biking was different today as I had ridden this route many times so I knew what to expect. Or so I thought .....
Imagine my surprise when we arrived at Mijas Costa to be greeted by two police officers on motor bikes and two more on ordinary bikes ( although they were hybrids!) These were to be our escort along the coast.
After a wait we set off along the coast boardwalk with the police moving people aside for us to bike through. It was here that I felt an unbelievable connection to Sandra , here I was riding her bike, on her favourite ride with 25 people following.
We then stopped at a beach bar called Avanto Beach who laid on drinks , ice creams and we were interviewed by the press , the television and then a presentation to the mayor of the Scroll which had been carried in the seat post of Sandra's bike for the entire journey.
And so we finally set off on the last leg, on the boardwalk to Cabopino, where Paul, Paul Mac and I biked along the breakwater to the lighthouse and just had a moment together, Four people , three of which had never met before we started , who have formed a bond cemented together by our love of Sands. I knew this would be our last moment in private together before the mayhem that was to follow , and I freely admit that we all cried like babies- how wonderful .
From Cabopino we made our way to the final Hill -which to use Mac's expression "a hill is only a hill",the last challenge of our 1652.2 mile journey.
To arrive at the apartment , the four of us together, to see so many people cheering us was a feeling I doubt I will ever forget. And yes the first beer felt so good, and the next and the next ......
last days briefing ... lets just be safe
top of the first climb
NB these two are not breathing - just holding stomach in
presentation to the mayor
The star of the show - Sandra bike