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Monday, 21 June 2010


In an attempt to 'get away from it all' we decided to head for the hills and seek refuge in a bar there. Henderson likes to leave the house after two and before five as he is convinced this is the safest time to drive as The Spanish, being creatures of habit, will be found having lunch and then siesting during these hours. So there we were cruising along with the open road in front when I saw a sign announcing that some roads would be closed on account of the 'Quebrantahuesos' cycle race. Quebrantahuesos is a bird of prey which is known as a Lammergeir or Bearded Vulture but here it is called 'Bone Breaker' and for some ironic reason the cycle race is named after this bird. There is no worse sight for Henderson than grown men, whose wives he believes are left behind probably to have sex with saner men, dressed in Lycra peddling after other men's arses. It stirs something in him that has him shouting after them 'haven't you heard of a combustion engine?' The road was full of these men trying to conquer themselves, which is my theory as there is nothing left to conquer. We didn't see any women or black men participating so there must be something in it. Henderson still hasn't got over the shock of seeing some of them wearing what look like wonder bras.My heart was in my mouth everytime we came round a corner only to be faced with these maniacs and of course it wasn't long before there was a pile up ahead near Biescas. As we got closer we could see the motorists who had knocked down a cyclist hailed from The Netherlands, a country rife with bicycles. As we passed I could see two tall, bewildered blond folk who had no idea of the surrealism awaiting them.

It would get more absurd as we left this area and cruised the winding mountain road up to The Valley of Broto. We had just passed the village of Yesero when we came around a bend and found a crashed car and a Quebrantahueso cyclist stumbling around the road. My Spanish version of 'are you alright mate' would keep Henderson amused for the rest of the weekend but alright he clearly wasn't as blood gushed from every orifice. I rang the emergency services and spent ages answering questions till another motorist came and then he spent aeons trying to explain that an ambulance was needed. The problem was the surreal scene in front of us. The woman on the other end of the line was asking me if the victim was in the cycle race as they had their own emergency servive but although the man was dressed in lycra no bike was to be seen. The car had both airbags inflated but someone's head had hit the passsenger window as it was smashed. It looked as if the driver and passenger had done a runner or rather, had cycled off on the poor man's bike. In the end when the proper authorities took over it was established that the 'cyclist' was the driver of the car and he had nodded off. Unfortunately he hadn't been wearing a seat belt and had ended up flying into the window on the passenger side. Well, that's what he reckons.

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