Stopover in San Sebastián

Never having straightened a wheel in my life before and reluctant to carry out my first lesson in wheel truing on the roadside, I resign to take the train rather than cycle the 100kms to San Sebastián.

This also buys me more time in Bilbao so it’s straight to the Guggenheim…


The railway follows the exact route that I intend to cycle and it takes me two guilty hours instead of two days.

Leaving the bike maintenance for mañana, some serious R&R follows. The next few days are spent refueling on delicious Tapas and pottering around the picturesque narrow alleyways in the Parte Vieja (Old Part). Bliss.

San Sebastián or - Donastia - in the Basque language oozes 'old world' charm

The walk up to the Castillo atop Mount Urgull overlooking the the bay was the perfect setting to stretch my sore legs and catch the evening sunset.

But all good things eventually have to come to an end.

With the back wheel still out of joint – and I later discover, a broken rear gear shifter – I learn from the officious chap at the ticket counter that I can’t take the Sherpa on the Renfe fast train. This leaves me in a real predicament. Especially, as I was looking forward to celebrating New Year with a good friend in Barcelona the following day.


  1. Blow a small hole in the budget
  2. Procure an economical, medium-sized family car
  3. Dismantle bike
  4. Load bike and associated accoutrements into the boot
  5. Drive the 600kms across the Spanish Plains in time for siesta

So folks, at the close of 2010 and after only one week on the road, I reluctantly have to conclude that so far it has Bean on a Bike, Boat, Train and erm… a Seat Ibiza.

Here’s to a more pedal-powered 2011!

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