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BellaOnline's Spanish Culture Editor

It's Not About the Tapas

After working in the fast lane in Hong Kong as a journalist, Polly Evans decided that it might be fun to cycle around Spain!

She planned her six-week trip which began in the north in San Sebastian to ride south-east across the Pyrenees and down into Barcelona, a pretty gruelling start to her challenge.

Not a lady to be daunted, even after the first days cycling which took her eight hours instead of the four she had planned. Cycling up and own mountains seemed to take longer, and much more effort than the flat plains of central Spain, where Iím sure she wished sheíd made the start.

Even if cycling 1,000 miles and wearing the same clothes every evening for six weeks isnít your thing, it does make a great read. Her history lessons were a bit heavy and boring but her travel-log excursions made up for it.

From Barcelona - donít say cheat - she took a plane to Granada, then cycled across Andalucia and up the west, Portuguese coast of Spain. Plodding on through historic cities were a chore for me, only to be enlivened again by her adventures with the great Spanish people she met.

Stared at by locals, being blown off her bike and having aching legs in need of a glass of the local wine for her daily anaesthetic were daily events, in this ride of restoration and revisiting a Spain she knew quite well.

The only part that I was a little envious of was that she had to eat enormous quantities meals interspersed by copious tapas and still kept shrinking out of her trousers.

Amusing in places, hard going in others, her journey like her book had itís good moments, bad moments and rocky bits in the middle.

Her two-wheeled journey ended in Consuegra the arid meseta in central Spain, home where she joined the tourists in visiting Don Quixoteísí famous immortalised windmills.

A brief tour around Spain and a fitting stopping place, in the land of one of Spainís most famous heroes. An entertaining story, which Iím sure, wonít entice you to follow in her footsteps, well it didnít with me. Perhaps just the weekend celebration at the end?

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