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The Wonderful Rail Trails of Spain
Story and Photos by Theresa Russell
Note: A seasoned cycling travel writer, Ms. Russell co-authored the guidebook, Bed, Breakfast & Bike Midwest. (This book was reviewed in our Spring '01 Feature Articles.) She is currently working on a cycling guide to the Yucatan Peninsula.
ignorant American mind, befuddled and elated at the concept of deserted rail
quickly looked over the scant details on the website and decided that this, in
fact, looked like a great way to visit
very diverse group of mostly Europeans, (only two of us were from
Continuing on to dinner, we enjoyed tapas, before our table was ready at the restaurant next door. After all, we had arrived well before the usual dinner hour. Other late arrivals joined us at the table and we all chatted into the wee hours of the night although we had an early start the next day. It had already been an incredibly long day for me, but I did have a few hours before dinner to nap and fend off jet lag.
next morning, we again gathered in the lobby and closely examined the garb of
our fellow riders. We seemed to have
jointly sighed relief to see that nobody dressed in coordinated Lycra garb.
That, and the fact that most of us were middle aged, eased our
competitive fears. We walked over to
the nearby station and waited on the platform for our train.
Just as the scenery from the window passed by in a blur, so did many
events of the trip. We found
ourselves at dinner wondering where and what we had eaten two days ago.
One day flowed into the next. We
continued with the late night events and early departures.
Some people took some days off throughout the trip as the pace fatigued
them. The tour showcased a variety
of regions of
Lunchtime sometimes involved picnics provided by the local communities and set up under a large tree or tents. Other times we ate great local foods at typical restaurants and then toured the towns to walk off the big lunch--not that we wouldn’t use the calories cycling, but we really needed to move around as a lunchtime nap was often very tempting.
accommodations were always clean and comfortable, ranging from rather simple to
very nice. A bus transported us and
our luggage between the different vias verdes.
The vias verdes cover much of
If you are looking for a different type of tour that also offers great value and cultural immersion, be sure to check out http://www.ffe.es/viasverdes/viasverdes.htm.
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