Day two was when we realised what a challenge we had truly taken on. To make sure we started properly, we took two dips in the atlantic. The first was at an epic campsite on the sea cliffs and then again in the port town of Deba, where we also found a Moroccan barber and nabbed some spicy cuts.
We also discovered that cycling is hard work and makes us hungry all the time. So progress has been slow with food stops at pretty much every town. A 3km long 8% ascent has proven so difficult with our heavy-laden bike that we are becoming apprehensive of the passes (or any hill for that matter) that we will encounter in the Pyrenees. We finished our Atlantic leg in an abandoned hotel high in the Basque Country. Sadly there was no room service but we cooked up some yummy pasta and Merlin saved the day with a snickers found at the bottom of a pannier bag. We’ve seen plenty of other cyclists so we mustn’t be in a bad spot despite most of them going in the opposite direction. They’re all dressed like proper cyclists and tend to give us funny looks; in fact, staring has definitely been the most common response to two guys on the same bike – no waves for us!