Vox_Blog_JessPratt

One month left of this crazy condensed season

Wow, time flies, can’t believe this crazy condensed season only has one month left! Lots has happened since my last blog.

I once again find myself pondering on what to write. What do people want to hear, what will people find interesting. So, it seems fitting that I write about my experience in Girona. It’s a very talked about town in the cycling world. Many have been here, and it is on a lot of people’s list of destinations to travel to. I love it!

So firstly, it is no surprise that Spain and Australia are totally different.

The culture is a little different to QLD, coffee shops don’t open until 9am and restaurants don’t open until 8pm. 5am bunch rides and 6.30am coffee stops are definitely an Australian thing! Leaving for a ride at 8am is now early… oh returning to Brisbane will be a shock!

The time difference to back home is a little nasty, there is a nice little lull in the afternoon when everyone back home is asleep, it does make for a peaceful afternoon! Should phone calls be made pre or post training, that is still something that is to be decided!

My first morning in Girona I had a nice easy day to shake out the legs after my long-haul flight. I decided not to map a route and explore a little. This was a grim choice. There are a lot of one-way streets in Girona. Luckily, I’ve since rectified this, I now know my way around, and I have been using my trusty Garmin 830 to find some epic little routes. The training here is great, I love it!

Post ride, coffee in Girona is good, very good. There are some epic little coffee shops floating around. Fortunately, every second person speaks English, or should I say unfortunately. It feels terrible only knowing the basics of a language.

Oh and Europe is very busy. It is good to see that people are out and about, but also mildly scary. I don’t really keep touch of what’s going on in Spain, instead it is spiralled from the Australian news… Travelling to and from races through packed airports worries me at times, but I just focus on ensuring that I do everything in my power to prevent catching this nasty virus. I tell friends and family back home about my experiences and they can’t believe it, the QLD state border is still closed!

One little challenge I had when I first arrived was the grocery shop situation. There are quite a few little shops around Girona. I think it takes a bit of trial and error. Unlike ‘woolies’ or ‘coles’ in Australia, sometimes you have to go to a few grocery stores to find what you need. But I think I am getting there; I have a good routine now.

Things are changing fast here in Girona though. Winter is coming. Some cool days on the cards coming up. By cool I mean a minimum below 10 degrees Celsius and maximum of 19. That is like winter back home!

I am now also in the final third of my stay in Europe. Woah. Where did the time go? So, it is only fitting that I start preparing for my 2 weeks of hotel quarantining on return to Australia… Definitely not looking forward to it, but I have finally accepted it, and am going in with a positive attitude, so much I can achieve. My yoga mat and bands will be put to good use, and if all goes well Zwift will save the day.

This pretty much brings another blog to a close. One month of racing to go. I have loved every bit of racing thus far. Can’t even express how much I’ve learnt. I don’t think you ever see a women’s field bigger than 70 in Aus, while in Europe fields can be 140+. And let’s just say some of the roads are half the size! It has taken me a little longer to find me feet in the racing than I would have liked, but then I also reflect on how far I have come since my first race in August. Yeah, but probably enough rambling from me!

Jess

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