I arrived at Bristol Travelodge with my old Falco teammate Kris Jasper and his dad who gave us a lift up there. It was around 8pm and we needed to wake up at 3.45 am to get to the airport to catch the flight to Malaga. After all the planning I was pretty much buzzing, so much that I couldn’t sleep at first so it took a while before I was in the land of nods.
Bristol airport was pretty quiet that early in the morning, everybody seemed to be chilled out and there I was grunting and sweating whilst carrying a 30kg bike bag with no wheels, but I soon found a trolly which was bliss.
After sorting out the passport and boarding pass, we had to go through the security check, and I was hoping that they wouldn’t think I was a drug smuggler with all my clear plastic bags packed with a total of 10KG of protein powder! I took everything out of my pockets then went through the metal detector… BEEP!… Instantly I remembered that I hadn’t taken off my metal belt, so the big security bloke set to searching me with the scanner, attracting quite a lot of attention in the process. Good start!
After training and racing for such a long time in England, getting on the plane had me buzzing again, and so I sat next to the window and was looking forward to taking off and taking in the view from the air… until a couple asked me if they could have my seat. I showed them my boarding pass and that I was sat where I was supposed to be, but they proved me wrong so I had to move to other end of the seat next to the aisle.
Now I had a lovely view down the aisle of the plane towards the cabin. What joy. So now I couldn’t see the lights of Bristol outside, and the couple next to me were now sleeping and wasting the view while I was sat staring at a guy’s head in front of me.
After a 3 hour flight we landed at Malaga, and we took a train to Carvajal where you can see mountains on one side and the sea on the other. It was such a change from the gale force winds and heavy rain that we had left behind, and this is what I had been looking forward to.
When we arrived at the station, it took us a while to move those bike bags off the platform. The walk to the apartment would normally take about 15 – 20 minutes but it would have taken us the whole morning to carry the bike bags! So I set off on foot down the road to find a taxi and finally found one. The driver nicely put the back seats down and just managed to squeeze the bike bags in while Kris was sitting at the back being totally squashed. It only took us less than 5 minutes and he charged us 10 euros, but I suppose it was worth it as we wanted it over and done with as quickly as possible.
I was dehydrated and hungry when we arrived at the apartment. I was kind of pissed off as I wanted to just relax and eat, but we had no food, so after unpacking the bike bag and assembling the bike, we set off to the supermarket to get some food. Aldi was the closest, just over a mile, so we decided to ride there. It felt nice riding on the bike after being stressed for the last two days, but what we didn’t realise was that there would be a very long steep climb, I mean very steep, and it took us forever to get to Aldi!
When we finally reached Aldi I decided to take a 10 minute break to take in the stunning view… then it was back to shopping. After shopping in Aldi I was not impressed as it didn’t have much stuff in it at all, and most of it was pretty expensive, more expensive than my local village shop in Cornwall! But I didn’t mind too much as I needed to eat… desperately!
After the Aldi experience we descended quickly back to the apartment and got cooking. Now I can relax and focus on my training this week.