Day 4: Ruesga to Santalina del Mar

The day we decided we were done with cycling and carried our bikes over the mountain instead!! 😂

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I actually think Alice might actually be playing a game now… it’s as if she’s testing the true extent of her leadership skills… I’m actually not sure who deserves a forfeit more Alice for leading us down an unimaginably impossible path… or Mummy and I for obediently following even when it became crystal clear that this was not the way… not even a way!! Even the cows thought we were insane!

If Alice were giving tips on leadership I’d imagine they’d go something like this:-

1. Always remain positive and appear confident. ALWAYS. NO EXCEPTIONS. Even when it must be totally obvious to everyone, including your self that you have absolutely no idea where you’re going or how to get there.

2. Encourage your followers with a constant smile and by always making the impossible look easy. If you can carry your bike up a mountain why can’t they? As the saying goes… if you think you can or think you can’t you’re probably right. Whether you want to is irrelevant.

3. If the above fails, pretend your finding it so easy that you’d be happy to run up the mountain with your bike and bags, then come back and carry you’re followers bikes as well! The fact that this might make them feel like weaklings when they are busting their guts to keep up with you is not your concern.

4. Encourage them with ‘little white lies’… e.g. “You’re doing so well… we’re almost at the top” can be remarkably effective even when staring up at what is clearly at least another 300m of sheer rock face.

5. Tell whopping lies and never admit the truth… for example – this is THE ONLY WAY. Of course there isn’t an easier… nicely tarmacked road or I’d have gone that way. Obviously!

Crazy or not – she did get us to follow her and mercifully there was a road the other side of the mountain – and a pretty stunning one at that…

Somehow – even after carrying our bikes up a rocky, muddy, steep track for 3 miles and 450 metres (that’s almost half the height of Snowdon… we still managed to cycle the remaining 30 miles in good spirits and in just under 3 hours. I think the joys of caffeine kept me going, because I did nearly cry going up that hill – especially when little miss invincible really did offer to run ahead and come back for my bike!

Santalina del Mar is magical – whether that’s because I’m high on endorphin fuelled relief or not I don’t care!

We are just grateful to have made it this far! And I am more in awe of my little sister than ever – if she can get us to keep following her after today I’m pretty sure she can do anything!!

She reminds me of a line Rudyard Kipling’s poem…

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you… then yours is the world… and everything in it.”

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