Posted by: Team McSlade | February 9, 2010

A road well travelled

February 8, 2010

Hola mis amigos,

So today was the beginning of Uni – well, there was a welcome speech given (en Ingles) to us new international students and then a handbook was given out to those who didn’t have it already, (I had it already). Which then moves me on to the main topic of this email, the ride home.
Now seventeen kilometres is the distance from the Uni to our place, most of this is along flat roads and then a valley floor, but then the penultimate section is a hill-climb from Rotova to Llocnou. I won’t embellish too much, but it’s enough to have to get the pushie into granny gear and snake back and forth across the road, until a round-about and then a smaller version of the previous hill. All in all it’s roughly four to five time Montifiore Hill behind Adelaide oval/three of Lyndoch road out of the main drag in Gawler or what the back straight off the top of Mt Panarama looks like on the teev – only going the opposite way the V8’s go.
Over the weekend Jo and I thought we’d see if there was another way into Rotova and yes, there is. However, there are a couple of fords across the river with water about a foot deep in some parts that is blocking a smooth passage. We were told of another road that went in a similar direction that didn’t cross the river and on my journey home i tried finding this mythical beast.
Not to be out witted by my own mind, or maybe to spite my better judgement, I went searching for this road with the weekly shopping weighing down my shoulders. A backpack and eco-friendly tote laden with 2kgs of spuds, salami, glass jars of olives and capsicum, brown onions, a piccolo of rose wine, a beer, a mudgaurd for the bike, chips and many other wonders purchased at Carrefour. So a few wrong turns in Rotova finally had me on the road to Llocnou – a lazy 5,4km said the sign, but could not have been farther from the truth.
All was going well until I got to the ford. Now with just me, sunshine and a sense of bravado I would have crossed it easily, but in my state of shopping bags, shortness of breath and rain (that’s why the mudgaurd had been purchased about thirty minutes prior) I turned back, silently cursing the choice I had made to find this fabled thoroughfare. I sluggishly retreated to the outskirts of Rotova and like a choose your own adventure novel I went for the next page choice and had to get off my trusty orange steed and push it up the hill (steeper than the one I was avoiding). After panting my way to the top of this hill, calves burning, I was confronted with another hill or a wander across a culvert and water mains combo. I chose the drainage routeand then found a hill to go down.
This downward section was a relief to this pack mule, only to have the tarmac end abruptly at a terraced orange grove. I got off the bike and traversed this Valencian gold mine, to find another hill and a sign in Spanish i think said “Don’t go through here – private.” Not to be discouraged, I (again) walked up the hill and finally made it out to the top of the hill I was originally trying to avoid.
I snagged a few oranges for my troubles and I was about to start the final descent into Llocnou, I was stared down by a donkey; maybe it was his oranges I was liberating.
Arriving home, Jo asked how my day was, I explained my escapades and thought that from now I shall just ride up the hill from Rotova.
Adios, Ryan
P.S. I am still worried the donkey will dob


  1. ¡¡El asno contó el amartillar, quién dijo la rata, que dijo el gato, que dijo el perro, que dijo al agricultor – que usted es la carne muerta!!!

    Donkey told the cock, who told the rat, who told the cat, who told the dog, who told the farmer – you’re dead meat!!!

  2. Plenty of bells and whistles here. your blog site looks tres cool.


    • Thanks Pat, we are slowly working out how to get a nice shine on it.

      Cheers, Senor McEachen

  3. Hola mis amigos,
    Sounds like Espania is good for you at the moment. Le sol est muo calienti, si?
    Hot here in SA now, 37 degrees and humid. Looking for some rain.
    Write more.
    Nick and Lynda

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