May 16 and 17: Zaragoza

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATen miles out of Bujaraloz, we had our first flat tire. As Dennis was repairing the puncture caused by a metal scrap, I decided to pee in the tall grass and came out covered in ants. Apparently, I squatted over an anthill. Luckily I was wearing rain gear and the little buggers were unable to penetrate the vinyl. Lesson learned.

Again, we faced a head wind, called Cierzo, which is common in winter and spring. We now realize we may be facing this until Logrono. Bummer! I thinOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAk we will limit our biking to around 30 km/day as a result; its just too hard on the knees.

After passing Alfarjin, the truck traffic left the N-II,  to our relief.

Dennis had planned an excellent route into the city and we arrived at the Albergue Zaragoza by midday. After settling in, we went to Recicleta, a bike shop to get from panniers for my bike. I hope these won’t make biking in the wind more difficult than it is.

It is bone-chilling (43 F) and we had to buy warmer shirts, something I had not expected to do. As a Floridian, I can no longer take these temperatures without bundling up. I resemble the Michelin man when riding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are staying an extra day to explore the city, see the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Pilar (right), visit the Friends of the Camino which does not open until 7 pm tonight (hoping we can get more info on the bike route), rest, and avoid an 70%  chance of rain.

Our room in the alberque it small with two beds. Most of the residents are young from around the world. At breakfast we spoke with two young Belgians (19 and 28) who are biking throughout Europe, a French woman for Toulouse, and a German woman from Cologne. Both women are traveling alone. At first, I thought how brave they were and then I remembered how I did the same when I was 20.  How could I have forgotten? Is it that as we get older, we get less brave? I don’t think I would have undertaken this bike adventure without Dennis–I get lost to easily, and I don’t know how to change a flat. He is my guide and mechanic, I am his translator. Together, we make quite a team.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the “Woman On Her Way” book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit

I started the “Woman On Her Way” travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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