May 9: Montserrat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALeaving Molins de Rei, Dennis spotted a cyclist and caught up to him to get directions. We had been unable to find how to get to the bike route we were looking for. Adolfo Jimenez was our trail angel. He asked directions at a local hotel, and then lead us as far as Pallejá. He even wrote a blog about our encounter.

Because of his help, we were able to get to St. Andreu de la Barca before the shops closed. There Dennis spotted a Mail Boxes Etc (on Crta. Barcelona) and we stopped to unload some of our weight.

We left St Andreu nearly 64 lbs lighter, having shipped home 15 kg and then forwarding our backpacks with hiking gear (14.15 kg) to Santiago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe ride to Montserrat was up and down hill, but mostly upward. I was so glad we jettisoned the weight and that huge front pannier. It made the hills climbable as long as I was in my lower range. But when I spotted the cable car at the base of Montserrat, I was more than happy to wimp out and take it to the top. I think we saved at least 3 to 4 hours of pushing the bikes to the top. As it was, we had to push the bikes from the landing up several flights of stairs, not an easy task with all the gear.

This monastery is now a resort, replete with hotels and attractions such as funiculars (railways up the mountain), guided tours, museums, restaurants, and gift shops. There are several school groups and busloads of international tourists. Adding to the noise are church bells and jackhammers—not the tranquility I had anticipated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arranged for a room in the albergue, (pilgrim’s hostel) visited the church, and listened to vespers. I was thinking that, like most towns in Spain, dinner would start around 8 p.m.; unfortunately, the only open eatery after the ceremony was in the hotel. Neither of us had eaten since breakfast, so we eat there.

This morning we returned to the monastery to get directions to the next albergues. The kind woman copied pages from a guide-book written in Catalan. With this, we should find our way to Logrono.

We hiked several trails to the top, visiting the various hermitages and gaspingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA at the beauty of Montserrat. Dennis commented that it was good to take a rest day—even if “rest” includes walking uphill for several miles.

Looking forward to the downhill ride tomorrow. Too bad it will take only a few minutes.

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 janevblanchard.com.

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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