So during my first two days in Monachil, I finally managed to mobilize enough energy to withdraw my thumb from my butt, and to use that thumb for the way more constructive activity of crawling out of the sink hole. I finally also found that precious spark in the forest of Los Llanos. It felt GOOD.
But also quite exhausting: after I and Martin got home from our epic ride that sunny Monday, I went straight to bed and slept for 1 hour. When I woke up, I just barely had the energy to eat some food and say hi to the new guests before I once again crawled into bed and slept for another 12 hours. That was a pretty loud reminder that I’m not completely back to business yet…
So the next day, when the clouds were pouring their content over Monachil, and Martin (lo and behold!) suggested that we’d take a rest day, I must admit that I didn’t become wildly upset and disappointed.
The rain didn’t really inspire us to go scampering off to Granada, so we spent the day doing, well just about nothing: we ate tostadas and drank café solo, strolled around, and then ate some more. Very unlike us (the idling, not the eating of course), and totally awesome. It was probably exactly what my wretched body needed.
The next day, the rain was still hanging in the air, my body was definitely still a bit sore and as always when I’m about to go riding with people I don’t know, I felt a bit nervous of making an ass of myself (I REALLY have to stop that nonsense, someone pointed me to an article on the imposter syndrome. Definitely worth a read!). But in spite of all that, I also felt really up for the challenge: I wanted to see what I and my Stump could do on those trails.
Whoa, what a difference a day (or two) makes! Where I before had felt stiff and off, I now felt relaxed and on. The loose dirt that freaked me out the first days had gotten tacky and the slippery rocks offered the perfect level of slightly-out-of-control feeling.
It was a really great day. In spite of the gray sky and slightly watery air, we managed to do a (at least for me) respectable number of vertical meters: about 1800-2000, if I haven’t miscalculated. And I actually didn’t mind the rain at all, since it gave me an excuse to wear my rain jacket, a.k.a. a shield against those damn thorns. In addition, my fellow riders were really crème de la crème of fellow riders – even though I didn’t understand more than half of their Scottish gibberish, that same Scottish gibberish lit up my day.
The only fly in my soup was that I somehow managed to forget exactly how important it is for me to constantly shove food down my throat in order to not morph into an ogre (I know, I am ashamed). I also failed to remember that I haven’t really done that many long days for the past, well 9 months or so, and that I’m perhaps not exactly as strong as I used to be.. perhaps just a little bit weaker? And perhaps that a lack of endurance in combination with an absence of a tons of snickers shoved down my throat may be a very bad idea if you are a hungry hen…
So on our last climb for the day, I accidentally exposed my fellow riders to my dark and highly grunting side (I know, I am ashamed). Sorry, it will most likely happen again. And then again again. Unless I have snack size snickers available.
Csilla didn’t have any snack sized snickers, but she did know the right antidote to ogreness: the perfect trail – flowy and fast with a few intermissions of slightly more technical terrain (in other words, a trail that makes you feel like you rock). Add to that a to-die-for view, and the knowledge that wine and tapas was 10 minutes away.
Her treatment of course worked like a charm: the further down the trail we got, the bigger the grin on my face grew. By the time we came into Monachil, I was completely cured. No more ogre, just your average (admittedly tired and hungry but also very happy) hen :).
And then we had tapas. I love tapas. Especially with thick Spanish wine.