The Cork Board

Days 11 / 12 Zaragoza to Tudela to Logroño

I had an interesting encounter in Tudela. On arriving into the outskirts I decided to cut short my two night stay here and press on to Logroño the following day. Time to check-in was 4.00pm so I hung around having made good time. At 4.05 I walked into Reception to find no-one but a young woman smoking outside. I thought she would be Receptionista but it would seem not.

Behind these dramatic landscapes lies the Bardenas Reales National Park, or the Dothraki Sea, for all you GoT fans.

A young man sitting in an adjacent office ignored me. As my frustration built Young Lady 1 was joined by Young Lady 2 in Reception with another much older smartly dressed man … and several pensioner couples who they seemed to be signing up to something. Oddly, the presentation trio seemed to be all the same height, about 5 feet tall, which gave them a team standard I suppose. Still no Receptionist and I’m getting cross now. Then I see the young man in the office shrug his shoulders, shake his head, pick up his pen and come out to me. It seems that Reception was late and he would have to deal with the smelly cyclist…and he is mute.

He points to my booking for 2 nights – I try to explain I need to cancel my second night. He shakes his head and keeps pointing to “dos noches”. Then he asks the Young Ladies for help and they refuse. My mute friend and I are trying to communicate with my Spanish and his written responses.Eventually Reception turns up and all is sorted out to everyones satisfaction and I applaud the young man for trying to check me in and make a point of thanking him.

I couldn’t believe the reaction of the Miniature Team, who had refused to help him, and I confessed to being shocked at the lack of teamwork.

Tudela chilling

Push on to Logroño and a very tough day covering 60 miles in an incredibly strong head on wind. I was almost blown over twice. Eight hours of grinding out the road later and I arrive exhausted. The good news is that Logroño is the capital of Rioja land. And if there is anything for sure, despite my appreciation for a fine single malt, is my appreciation for a fine wine. (If only we were filthy rich…hahahaha!)

Hotel breakfast tis morning and I’m making my way through another bread based meal when who should walk past but Miniature Team followed by more pensioner couples. I immediately began to suspect the selling of Snake Oil from this travelling medicine show and hoped that the pensioners were hanging on to their money. Who can imagine what the pitch is when your target audience is well over 65? I’m sure it’s innocent. Amusingly, the music playing before the presentation, loud enough so that hearing aids were not required, was “Every Breath you Take” by The Police. (Insert your own inappropriate pensioner songs below. The funnier the better.)

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