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    The video does look great…I bet it will bear on resemblance to video if were to be shot ( with a waterproof camera) on The Angel next week…will you Mallorcan athletes wait for us mortals at the top?


    Day 4

    Today was an ‘active recovery’ ride to the Chocolate Factory Café down the coast at C’an Picafort. We were as usual divided into two groups, but were honoured to have Andrew and Huw with us who immediately bored us all rigid by continually commenting on the slow pace compared to what they were ‘used’ to.

    We had in our ranks two unsigned riders, John and Gareth. Andrew and Huw had clearly done an excellent recruitment job on Gareth who had committed to signing for the mighty Dynamos, however, there was still work to be done on John. During the gentle ride down the coast I was at one point cycling behind Carlton and John, with Carlton extoling the virtues of the Aces. Clearly this far from objective, one-sided view of John’s options had to be challenged. I therefore felt duty bound to point out to John, a man of some style and immaculate appearance, the shocking clash of colours and rather dated style of the Aces kit compared to the clean, contemporary lines of our shirts that go with anything (a fact acknowledged even by their own fashion coordinator). I could see John was wavering so went in for the kill and offered a free bottle upon signing. Only time will tell…

    The 12 mile ride to the café saw us sitting in the glorious sun looking out over a wide bay with the sun twinkling off the occasional ripple on the surface (forecast spot on Sweaty). Despite breakfast having been consumed what seemed only a matter of minutes previously, it was a large slice of chocolate gateau all round (Huw and I did, however, go for the healthy option with a slice of lemon meringue pie).

    It was now shopping time. Rumours abounded that there was good value cycling kit to be had from a chain of shops run by a large cycling tour company Max Hurzeler. The first shop was just up from the beach and a group of about 15 of us descended upon it like a swarm of locusts. It was indeed the promised land if you were prepared to be a walking advert for the tour company.

    We had been warned that the weather in Majorca could be variable and to bring waterproofs, so I started the week with my winter rain jacket strapped to the back of the saddle. This prompted many unflattering comments asking if it was a tent or perhaps a parachute to slow me down on the hills. I was therefore drawn in to a lightweight semi-transparent wind and waterproof jacket that packed down into a small pouch. This was ideal not only because of its size, but you could see our stunning Dynamos shirts through it.

    Not satisfied with one shop, there was apparently a bigger and better shop just down the coast so off we went. Down to one pair of decent shorts, the next purchase was a fetching pair of black red and white bib shorts in the hope they might match the Dynamos shirt. Carlton, clearly swayed by my pep talk to John on the relative merits of our kit, was also seen sneaking out with a similar pair of shorts. Kim, unable to contain herself in the unfolding retail frenzy bought some cycling mits.

    Shopped out, thoughts turned once again to food so it was back to Port Pollenca for lunch. Toros, the traditional cycling venue was full, so we carried on along the bay to find a very acceptable venue in the now roasting sun for a pint and something to eat.

    We had by this point adopted a new honouree member to the ‘Taffioso’ clique. Robbie was part of the RAF contingent who were on the camp as part of their ‘Adventure Training’ programme and so were effectively on duty (i.e. we were paying for their holiday). As they all came from different bases, they didn’t necessarily know each other and Robbie was the only one who didn’t have the official RAF kit. At only 22 (and 6’ 4”) and seemingly abandoned by his fellow servicemen, he looked a bit lost so we adopted him. A careless application of sun tan cream on day one on his pale limbs resulted in an interesting piece of modern living art that caused us all much amusement and him much pain.

    Before we knew it, it was supper time and despite the rather sedentary day devoted to eating and shopping, we still managed to pack supper down in anticipation of riding the ‘Big One’ the following day. Not much to report at the evening meeting other than a warning about the weather forecast and how it might affect the plans for the following day. A quick nightcap after the meeting and early nights all round (apart from Pat and Brian who continued to attempt to empty the mythical wine lake).


    Hi Ian, loving your Blog – feels like I was there!(Did not know it was a recruitment drive thou!!!)


    come on ! come on! where’s the next chapter? …your fans await!


    Dear Fans

    Sorry for the brief delay. We went out last night to the Country and Western evening for a bit of line dancing on the promise of a slap up vegetarian BBQ. Imagine our horror to find the food was being provided by one Andrew Rees who’s repertoire of fare for the non-carnivore extended to a cheese bap with onions as a extra. Sustained only by beer and peanuts we therefore had to cut our evening short as exhaustion set in and anyway we had forgotten to take our stetsons.

    As it is now sheeting down with rain and the Club ride looks less than appealing I will attend to the next episoode.


    Day 5.

    We woke to the patter of rain which did not bode well for the day’s planned ride and looking out of the window low black clouds hung over the mountains. When we assembled at 9.30 it had stopped raining and the weather was starting to clear, however, Sean and Doddsy decided to postpone the start until 11 to allow the roads to dry. They were concerned that the roads might be wet and the descents potentially dangerous.

    The delayed start meant that the ‘Big One’ (some 90 miles and nearly 9,000ft of climbing) would not be possible as we would be back too late. This was a real disappointment as we had built ourselves up for the challenge, however, the ‘Sa Calobra; The road to nowhere’ ride was offered as an alternative.

    Sa Calobra is a small port on the north coast with one road in; 10km long winding down the side of a mountain from hairpin to hairpin at an average gradient of 6%. However, to get to the pass was a fair climb in itself. We set off in our two groups and following a largely flat approach of about 10km hit the bottom of the first climb. This was about 8km long at a gradient of 5% and soon the group began to split up. We had several regroups along the way to allow Sean and Doddsy to count us all in and out and then stopped at the Orange Cellar roadside cafe at the turn for Sa Calobra (http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/87615889 this is only one way as could not be arsed to trace it back again, but you get the picture!).

    There was a couple more km of climbing to reach the pass before the decent down into Sa Calobra where we were advised to stop and have a good look down to be absolutely sure we wanted to climb back up. It was a long, long way down with the road clinging precariously to the side of the mountain. No bottling out not even for the still spluttering Huw.

    The decent was not very enjoyable as the road surface was not particularly good and the hairpins were very tight. Added to this were the cyclists coming up and tour busses who could only get around the hairpins by completely blocking the road. Keeping to your side of the road and being able to stop at a moment’s notice improved your chances of not becoming just another annoying stain on the front of a bus.

    By the time we got to the car park and café at the bottom of the climb (we didn’t even see the beach) my neck, shoulders and hands were aching from being permanently on the brakes. A quick pee to lighten the load and a gel bar (three in Huw’s case..) and we were off up the climb.

    Having left me on the last climb, Kim said she would stay with me, however, true to form, half way up she spied a few people ahead she wanted to make a point to and just could not help herself. I did however spend occasional fleeting moments with Dave the Texan who passed me about 10 times as he got off at every vantage point to take a photo. The last few hundred metres back up to the pass were the steepest part of the climb and I was really missing my biggest cog. One brief moment of light relief in the last push to the summit was the sight of Doddsy on the side of the road desperately trying to recognise those in his charge ‘You with Legros mate?’; a slight nod of the head was all I could manage…

    Dave the Texan got off at the top to take a final picture which I think was ruined by me grimacing into his viewfinder.

    This is a profile of the climb, however, I don’t remember the downhill bit in the middle! It does, however, look like one of Roger’s prescriptions.

    We regrouped at the Orange Cellar before the 20km decent back to the hotel. I really pushed myself to catch up to Brian’s rear wheel only for my chain to come off. After a pit stop, I re-passed several people and went as fast as I could on the rather lumpy first few km before the main descent. Convinced I was on my own and feeling smug at my athletic prowess, I was suddenly passed on a slight rise by 4 or 5 from our group, including the now flying John. I latched onto the wheels of the group and off we went.

    At our first evening group meeting there had been a couple of rather loud young ladies in the front row who we later derided somewhat over a few drinks. It transpired that they were from the San Fairy Ann CC based in Maidstone that Kim and I used to cycle with and we had a few mutual friends. Their ‘loudness’ and general demeanour could therefore be explained (and forgiven) as they came from Kent.

    Out front on the decent was one of these young ladies, Donna, who was flying down with the rest of us in tow. This was our first real experience of a fast flowing decent on newly surfaced dry roads and was a blast. However, all good things must come to an end and we soon hit the 10k flat run back to the hotel. Donna, still up front, was now setting a ferocious pace and try as we might no one could get past her to share the load. Eventually we came upon a small group of riders causing her to slow slightly giving me the chance to hit the front. I went as fast as my little legs would go for about a mile before Huw slipped passed followed immediately by John. John sat on the front for about a minute but it was not enough for Donna and she was off again.

    As we hit the roundabout with 5km to go a sudden injection of pace (or perhaps I was knackered) up front and I was spat out the back. I tried to keep my pace up and slowly picked up a couple of others who had befallen the same fate. Dave the Texan and I had a last dig and just caught John as we turned off for the hotel (I have to keep reminding him of this fact lest he gets too carried away). What surprised us all was that after 2,000m of climbing (including a Cat 1 and Cat 2 climb) over 90km we still managed a 10km 30mph+ sprint home. The power of SIS, or just stuffing your face each night?

    It was straight to the pool to freeze aching legs and take the obligatory protein recovery drink. Next up was the now obligatory per-dinner drinks, extreme carb loading and the evening meeting. From a rather deflated feeling at the start of the day, we were all on a high appreciating the achievement and glad to have completed one of the classic climbs on the island. Huw ‘Strava’ Morgan did point out that the record for the climb was some 27 minutes compared to Andrew’s 43 and my 50. We speculated that they had probably been driven to the start and retired to the bar feeling very self-satisfied.

    Saturday was to be another ‘active recovery’ ride before the promise of the ‘Big One’ on our last day. Pat and Brian got back into their groove whilst the rest of us relived each peddle stroke of the day over a couple of beers, in my case the last two that took me past John on the sprint home (a sort of Roger vs Andrew skirmish).


    Dear Follower, sorry for the hiatus. Here is the next thrilling instalment…

    Day 6

    The ‘active recovery’ ride did not depart until 10.00, so plenty of time for grazing the breakfast buffet. The ride was a 40 mile return trip for coffee and cakes in the square at Muro. The route took us along a beautiful valley, the Val du Colonya, with lush (as in green) vegetation dotted with some idyllic looking villas.

    I was at the front of the peloton with Dave the Texan speculating on the viability of a holiday home in this paradise when rounding a sharp bend on the narrow road we were confronted by a speeding 4×4. Showing consummate bike handling skills we both managed to brake then swerve to miss both each other and the car. As there were no screams from behind apart from ‘Car Up’ and no sounds of splintering carbon fibre we assumed all was well and continued with the pace setting.

    The road soon deteriorated into one long teeth-rattling pothole that, despite the frantic waving of arms of those up front combined with a deafening chorus of ‘hole’, were impossible to miss.

    The steepest climb of the day turned out to be up to a roundabout over the motorway, but it did give the legs an opportunity to remind you of the excesses of the day before.

    A feature of the trip was learning the etiquette of group riding. One of the requirements of riding safely in an orderly peloton is good communication, however, it was at times a case of information overload. Cries of ‘Car Up’ and ‘Car Down’ mingled with all manner of descriptive nouns for hazards on the road. One such hazard on the ride included a rather impressive pile of horse droppings. It was not clear if the cries of ‘Shit’ related to the particular hazard, or from the person behind who had just been sprayed with the stuff.

    However, the most dangerous part of group riding was bringing the peloton to an orderly stop. Sean’s expression of choice was ‘Steady’ and was much copied, however, it was rather vague in conveying the intentions of the particular rider and seemed to cover all points from a gentle application of the brakes to an emergency stop.

    As a group we did take delight in the sound of our cries echoing off the walls of the narrow back streets in the small towns and villages we passed through. I am sure the blow by blow account of every conceivable defect in the road surface, the description of pedestrians (including gender an approximation of age) and the make and colour of any cars we encountered, all shouted out by 20 or so cyclists at the tops of their voices was music to the local’s ears as they settled down for their mid-morning siesta.

    Coffee and cakes were taken in the town square with the sun beating down on us; those Dynamo’s wearing club shirts reopened the discussion on the possibility of an away kit for the summer and foreign sorties. It seemed too early for lunch and everyone was anxious to get going again. The remedial class of Group 2b had swelled in numbers and volunteers were sought to go back with Doddsy and the faster group. There did not appear to be many takers.

    Sensing that we would be back in good time, Andrew, disappointed to have missed the ride to the lighthouse was seeking riding companions to tick this particular box. Gareth, his new sparring partner (like Roger except that Gareth actually beat Andrew to the top of the climbs), refused point blank and Huw, still teetering at deaths door, gave a withering look that left Andrew in no doubt that he was not going.

    The route back took us back along the coast road with the lure once more of retail therapy. Kim had decided that she too would like a rain jacket and there were other shops to visit. The small group of us that had gone our own way on the return journey were soon exhausted by shopping and thoughts turned once again to food. Toros is a legendary cyclist’s haunt on the seafront in Port de Pollenca and for once there was space, thankfully out of the sun. Refuelled, people drifted off to do their own thing.

    Kim and I got back to the hotel and went to the main pool to socialise with the Aces, who we found putting on a talent show for the benefit of everyone else. The slight problem with this was that their repetoir, as exemplified by Carl, appeared to be limited to bombing. Nevertheless, it did seemed to be keeping people generally amused (however, it should be pointed out that the audience were principally from the cultural wasteland north of Watford Gap so would have been a rare treat for them).

    Shortly afterwards Andrew arrived ‘fresh’ from his solo excursion. ‘Has anyone see Huw?’ he asked casually to a mute response; ‘Perhaps he is in the room’ and off he went. Five minutes later Andrew was back; ‘Has anyone see Huw as he is not in the room?’ he asked again, but this time in a melancholy voice you might imagine someone using if they had just lost a new puppy. Jokes about doing a ‘Reggie Perrin’ did not seem to overcome his anxiety and off he went not to be seen again until supper. It transpired that Huw had gone shopping on his own and didn’t leave a note. How thoughtless can you get?

    An extra effort was made to carb load at supper by not wasting time in the bar, giving a full 60 minutes of eating time. The next day after all was the Big One.

    Now we were perhaps a bit less in awe of our group leaders, there was a slightly more rebellious air to the meeting. Top tip of the day was about not panic braking when faced by an oncoming car; a direct reference to Dave and my experiences earlier in the day. It was suggested that this could be avoided by anticipation and looking ahead up the road. I did have to point out in our defence that we would have had to have been f*****g telepathic to anticipate the car careering around the blind bend.

    Next up was the best comedy routine of the week. An American complained that he was confused by the calls of ‘Car Up’ and ‘Car Down’ as there seemed to be no consistency in the use of the terms to describe the actual location of said car and could this be clarified. Sean, with a straight face suggested that the objective word was probably ‘Car’ and as a simple test, if you could see it, it was probably in front of you and if you could not it was probably behind you. He then enquired if this resolved his query whilst the rest of us pissed ourselves laughing.

    The Taffiosa were determined that we were going to ride the Big One come hell or high water and Nick had previously offered to escort us round if there was any risk to the official ride being cancelled due to the weather. However, Sean and Doddsy seemed confident that the ride would be leaving as planned the next morning. A suggestion that we could perhaps start at 9.00 rather than 9.30 as we had bikes to pack and be returned to the hire shop fell on deaf ears.

    Following the meeting was a presentation by SiS that Kim and I decided to skip and went for a very pleasant stroll around the bay and found where all the money was (large villas not the end of a rainbow). In our absence a plot was being hatched at the bar to in fact do the Big One as an independent group led by Nick leaving at 9.00. We were let in on the secret by encrypted text messages (a result of Andrew’s fat fingers and his small keypad). I was slightly concerned that we would upset Sean and Doddsy and get blacklisted, however, they were apparently quite pleased as this meant they could have just one group instead of two. We were also to do the ride the opposite way around taking us straight into the first climb. I am still not clear if this is the preferred way around!

    It transpired that rather than explaining what all the gels and powders we had been given were for, the SiS talk was on the power of beetroot juice. One girl we met after the meeting described it as quack science. Nick, however, swears by it.

    No drinks in the bar for Kim and I and it was straight to bed in anticipation of the grand finale the following day.


    Have got to say that this is one entertaining blog! Good memories! Looking forward to the last installment.

    Narberth Dynamos

    Welcome aboard ‘bigger’, we now have to work out who the hell you are, however, you have narrowed the possibilities somewhat with your comments….

    Last instalment in progress.


    Day 7

    So this was it, the Big One, 83 miles, three mountain passes and 8,800ft of climbing (according to Huw’s Garmin!) .

    Looking out of the apartment window to the west, grey clouds shrouded the mountain peaks, however, the rest of the sky was azure blue. There would be no holding us back now.

    Breakfast was an unusually sombre affair; the banter was replaced by a reverent silence as the Taffosia contemplated the hours of self-inflicted pain and suffering that was to come. Or in my case, deep in thought working out how I could stuff another pancake with maple syrup down my neck on top of the three dry Weetabix and omelette that has just preceded them without throwing up. In the Dynamos enclave, the silence was all the more poignant signalling an end to Huw’s coughing and spluttering that we had endured at every mealtime for the whole week. Huw was on the mend.

    Back to the room for final preparations; frantically reading the impossibly small writing on the back of SiS gels and drinks powders in a vain effort to find a miracle cure to tired legs. Sod it I thought and stuffed as many gels in my back pocket as I could fit. I was not the only one who took this scientific approach to ride nutrition and the assembled mass looked like an outing from an old people’s home bent double under the weight of gels.

    Joining the Taffosia as special ‘guest’ riders were our adopted ‘wingman’ Robbie and Julian (he of puncture fame on Day 3). As the last cloud evaporated into the morning sky revealing the mountain peaks in all their glory, we set off on the dot of 0900.

    Despite the lack of a ringmaster, the discipline drilled into us for the preceding week held firm as we headed in perfect formation for the 10km rollout to the foot of the first climb to the Puig Major. Nick had come tooled up with various audio visual devices and scuttled up and down the line with his video camera. This was to become a theme of the day.

    The first part of the climb to the Orange Seller was familiar to us all as we had been this way on the approach to Sa Collabra and knowing what was ahead I decided to go for glory only to be overhauled by Gareth, Andrew and Julian shortly thereafter. However, after they pulled away a bit, I suddenly (and very unexpectedly) found myself coming back to them. Gareth was getting a bit of a reputation as a human dynamo, just effortlessly pulling up the hills with Andrew trailing in his wake. The observant amongst us had spotted a couple of days before that Gareth had a very oversized rear hub that he claimed was a power meter. When I finally caught up with him, I casually asked (between gasps) how many watts he was generating. I was not convinced that the 270 he reported was his output, or that of the ‘hub’. Anyway Gareth had sensibly decided to back off the power a bit on the first climb, but this still left me struggling to hold his back wheel.

    We had our first regroup at the turning for the Lluc Monastery and then it was onto the Orange Seller. The next bit of the climb was undulating with some shorter fast descents between small climbs. Once again I set off at some speed but this time ‘got away’ and soon caught up with a solo cyclist who was going at my pace. I trailed him up the climbs but then went past him as the road started to descend and really enjoyed the sections of fast sweeping bends on empty dry road that followed. I stopped at the Orange Seller leaving my travelling companion to head off up to the pass on his own with a cheery wave.

    To reinforce my athletic prowess, I quickly stashed the bike, off with the helmet and gloves and tried, with legs screaming and lungs bursting, to strike a nonchalant pose sat at a small table before the others came into view. I think it worked as Gareth insisted that I provide a urine sample.

    A short stop and photo session followed (see Facebook pages) and we were then off into unknown territory. After a short climb, a very unnerving short decent through a dark tunnel brought us out alongside a reservoir and some stunning scenery. Where was Dave the Texan when you needed him to take a photo. The road soon kicked up again and this time I could not keep up with Gareth and hoped I had not peaked too soon having got over-excited on the last bit of the climb. Kim was just behind me catching fast so I persuaded her that she should slow down so we could cycle together. At this point Nick came sweeping by with his camera disappearing effortlessly into the distance.

    The pass was just beyond a second tunnel with a convenient layby and viewing point for a regroup and photos. Nick kindly took a Dynamos Group shot whilst we were waiting for the Aces to catch up (last dig, honest!)

    There was now a long 10km sweeping descent to Soller, however, being a Sunday, the roads had started to get busier, mainly with packs of large powerful motorbikes driven by men with clearly very small penises (Nic told me she had looked when one stopped for a pee at the side of the road so we have proof that this is not just a fallacy).

    Going for broke once again, I was soon out in front having the time of my life when Nick, closely followed by Pat came screaming past. There was no way I was going to keep up with them. Shortly after Carl performed a similar manoeuvre that got me thinking about the acceleration of mass due to gravity.

    As I approached a corner, a motorbike came out of it the other way. The bike looked very spectacular with the rider hanging off the side of the saddle with his knee kissing the tarmac. Unfortunately, the phallicly challenged rider had failed to spot the corner was over and he was now on my side of the road closing at a rate of knots. Luckily for me (and you as readers) he just managed to straighten up in time and whistled past my left ear. It was all over in a flash and I didn’t think much more about it, however, Julian who was just behind said the bike missed me by a matter of inches. I think he was more shaken by the experience than me.

    Another regroup at the base of the climb before the transition along a really bad road to the foot of the Soller Pass. Nick assured us that there were 21 hairpins to the summit and it was quite a steady climb. I had not even counted to one before I noticed that my front tire was flat; my first puncture of the trip. Kim helped me change the tube and we set off together. At 21 hairpins, there was no sight of the café we were to meet at and I began to worry that it was 21 pairs of hairpins, however, all such worries were dispelled as we were greeted on what we were told was the last bend by the ever cheery Nick with his camera.

    The café provided a welcome bottle refilling service (€1.00) and some very expensive coke (€2.50), but the view was stunning. No time for slouching (or eating) and we were off again on the 21 hairpin descent (I didn’t count them this time). On the way down, we saw the ‘official’ Big One tour coming up. The descent was not that much fun as it was hard on the brakes at each hairpin and in no time we were at the foot at the last climb of the day, the Orient.

    Traffic congestion in the small village split the group up so there was to be no all-out race to the top. Kim kindly waited for me at the top of the village and off we went together. Shortly after we caught up with John who sat on Kim’s rear wheel as she decided to accelerate up the hill. I could not keep up the pace and slowly dropped back watching John punish himself trying to keep in touch (welcome to my world…), however, the pace was just too hot and he soon dropped back into my clutches having shot his load.

    Another regroup at the top of the climb was a cause for celebration having conquered all the mountains could throw at us. Nick led a master class in descending on the way back down a long fast sweeping road. We were now some 40km from home and the route back had been described as ‘bumpy’. Every village we passed though was built on top of a hill straining the tired legs of some. Others had clearly been holding something back and Huw won a sprint up one of many small hills we encountered; recovery completed!

    Retracing our steps back down the beautiful Val du Colonya, we were soon at the junction with the main road to Port de Pollenca. Again the Sunday traffic split us up and we started the final push along the main road in dribs and drabs, however, the final 10km sprint to the finish was soon looming in the mind. Did we really have enough left for anything other than a gentle roll in?

    One group was already up the road and out of sight, however, a second group started to coalesce and was starting to wind up with serious intent. Out front to start with was Gareth, trailed by John, Kim, Carl and myself. ‘Do I you really want to do this?’ demanded my aching legs, ‘shut up and get on with it, it’s the last 10km of the last day’, I replied. Legs reply was not repeatable even on the Dynamos forum (we are still not speaking to each other).

    Gareth put the hammer down and we all hung on for dear life trying to get a rolling peloton going to share the load, however, it soon broke down into short heroic bursts of speed from whoever could muster enough breath to launch themselves up the outside and into the front. Giving our all, we probably averaged 25mph for the last 10km and arrived at the Hotel knackered ,but pleased we gave it one last go.

    That then was the Big One.

    We all piled into the pool to cool aching legs in the refreshingly cold water, swapping protein recovery drinks for a couple of pints. However, thoughts soon turned to the early start the next morning and packing up the bikes. Kim and John took their bikes back to the hire shop in town whilst the rest of us littered the poolside with bike bags and boxes and soon it was a hive of activity (and foul language as peddles suddenly came loose leaving knuckles impaled on the chain ring). Then back to the rooms to pack, shower and prepare for the last supper.

    We met up in the main hotel bar for pre-dinner drinks as had been our custom for the week, however, as we didn’t need to go to the evening meeting, there was no rush to eat. There didn’t seem the need to cram quite as much food down, however, we still gave it a good go. Rather than a big night out in town, we decided to remain loyal to the pool bar and the excellent bar tender who did us proud all night.

    The meeting was in full swing in the room off the bar when we arrived and was packed with new intakes. On more than one occasion we were asked politely by Doddsy and his colleagues to keep the noise down. We were forgiven a bit later when we presented Sean with a whip round for the Legro Team hastily gathered from the Taffosia.

    Kim and Nic having consumed a litre of Sangria decided that they could perhaps manage another half a jug so I was dispatched to the bar. This time we were treated to the Barman’s ‘special’. As his manager looked on with a resigned air, he proceeded to mix a cocktail of whatever could be found on the sprits shelf then added a splash of red wine and seven up for good luck. All for the bargain price of €6.00.

    Robbie was doing a fine job getting through the beer. He bought a drink for Carl only to find he had gone to bed. After briefly enquiring if anyone else would like it, by the time the offer sank in, Robbie had downed it. This was going to get messy.

    As the evening wore on, and seemingly completely out of context, Huw suddenly announced he had lost his wedding ring. Was this just an ‘accident’, or a clumsy admission of something deeper? Could this explain Andrew’s distress from the day before? What an earth was going to happen when we got home? Could ‘what goes on tour stay on tour’?

    Before we knew it midnight had come and gone leaving only a few hours before our transfer to the airport the next morning. Nick had arranged for the coffee machine to be turned on at 6.00am. We therefore retired to bed at the end of a very long day.

    To be concluded…


    Be careful out there peeps! There’s always a camera somewhere…

    Watched this tonight in jealousy, no sound so no idea what any voiceover might say, apologies in advance.

    However, it looks like an amazing trip. Would love to go next year. Will have to see if time/finances allow.

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