2017 Vuelta a España: Stage 10
Daniel was unaware that Bjork and Tricky dated during the '90s.
I Stage 10 Report
- Yesterday was a rest day but we didn’t rest that much. We slept-in until nine, which to some of you probably sounds like we really slept-in. But like, that was a joke. Sleeping-in means you sleep until at least eleven, but even better would be like one. Thirty. We ate breakfast, did the internet for hours and hours, organized shit, and did a photoshoot with Team Postobón in the cafeteria of a truck stop.
- It turns out the Indian food in Europe is remarkable. Either that or I’m having the best Indian run of my life. I mean, Klaus and I are killing it in Iberia, that’s one thing, but what you don’t know is that right before this Vuelta trip I was in Finland and Austria with Keiran. Funny thing is, we started our trip off—after four flights and about 27 hours of traveling, getting to the North Pole is NO JOKE— with an Indian meal in Rovenami, Finland which unrelated-related, that’s where Santa Klaus lives. There is a village there and the whole deal. Also, that place is teeming with reindeer. Anyway, we land, we rent a car, we drive to Indian and commence to have the worst Indian of my life. I’ve got ONLY two things to say on the matter: A) people in the North like in Alaska and Yellowknife, Canada, and (apparently) Scandavania eat an ungodly amount of sugar in ALL their food, it’s a thing. And B) when your mango lassi is served with a massive head of whipped cream on top of it, your meal is fucked, there is no coming back from that. Anyway, that was our first, and my worst, Indian meal ever. But a week later in Innsbruk, Austria we got back on that horse and one of the best Indian meals of our life. Then, four days after that we had Indian again by the Munich airport: also a life affirming experience. And now this Iberian tour with Klaus which has been home run Indian after home run Indian. Well, it’s got me thinking that Europe is better at more than just hummus and roundabouts, it’s also better at Indian.
- Speaking of Santa Klaus. Klaus, my Klaus, your Klaus, Manual for Speed’s Klaus, claims that everyone at his high school pronounced his name Claws, like the presents and sleigh driving guy.
- Yesterday during my rest day I ran in 87% humidity. My phone stopped working. Bluetooth failed. My Airpods failed. I sweat maybe more than I’ve ever sweat in my life. Other than I just thought a lot about what animales I might see and whether Spain has snakes, and whether I could “sell” the whole, I didn’t know what privado means thing just in case it came up.
- I just learned that the hot spot on my iPhone is better than the wifi in our hotel for the night. And if I had to guess, better than the wifi in most hotels in Spain.
- The primary police force managing and handling the Vuelta is the Guardia Civil, military police like Italy’s Carabinieri. Anyway, here’s a few things you should know about these civil servants: A) almost without exception they are friendly and helpful and patient and understanding even in VERY stressful driving and course negotiation situation; B) they have great style including, but limited to, the smaller-than-average berets they wear at an extreme++++ rakish angle on their heads, awesome tactical boots, cargo capris, and big-ass machine guns made out of machined super-future metals like titanium and unobtanium worn across their chests; C) everyone here loves them; D) they drive cool trucks, and when they’re not driving cool trucks they’re riding in the back of one; E) they have fashionable hair, most of the men also have sculpted beards reminiscent of pre-peak-beard Portland, Oregon; F) they are all really really really good at CrossFit, it’s that obvious; G) a large portion of them are women with the same great everything excepting, obviously, the beards.
- Discussed during today’s drive to the start of the stage:
- Daniel was unaware that Bjork and Tricky dated during the ’90s. Klaus knew, but was surprised by how short their relationship was once he did an online search to find out more. In the course of this conversation, Daniel insisted that trip-hop is currently making, or will soon make, a comeback and that he was excited about it. Wikipedia’s entry for trip-hop includes a “Trip-Hop in the 2010s” section, so Daniel may be on to something. Because we all know that Wikipedia is always right, and is the authority that settles all discussions/arguments.
- The Amen Break, a short musical sample that served as an integral building block of hip-hop, drum and bass and ragga jungle was also discussed during a particularly scenic part of the drive. It should be noted that last night, Klaus watched several videos related to the Purdie Shuffle. There was no connection between these two events.
- Last year Juan Antonio Flecha traveled alone in an old, somewhat beat up van during parts of the Vuelta a España. He convinced Eurosport (who he works for) to make that his work vehicle during the race, rather than a standard rental car. He did this so he could surf during down time, mostly in northern Spain. Daniel decided that he wants to meet Juan Antonio, to ask him about surfing in/around Barcelona, if that’s even an option.
Located near the beach, in a pleasant and obviously popular section of Alicante, New Delhi’s interior was spacious and mildly air-conditioned. We didn’t use the bathroom, so we have nothing to report on that front. Chairs were a bit threadbare, but comfortable. Teenagers milled about outside, as dreadlock-mulleted college students (Spain’s indicator species for relatively cool, nicer neighborhoods) waited for tables at a nearby vegetarian restaurant.
We inquired with the staff about the feasibility of taking a ferry to Algeria (not because we think anyone from India must know about Algeria, we know they are different, distant countries. We asked because we know there’s an Algeria-bound ferry that leaves Alicante from a place (a pier? a dock?) about a kilometer away from the restaurant. Three members of the staff were unable to provide any guidance on the matter. Eventually, however, one of the servers came over, and walked us through the process. His parents are Algerian. Turns out you need a visa to go, and it takes much, much longer than we thought to make your way down to Africa when you are in this part of Spain. So we won’t be going to Algeria during the rest day.
- The spice scale was a simple and supermarket salsa-like. “Mild, medium, hot.”
- No papadum was offered, and thus no chutney came our way.
- The aloo gobi (medium) was unusually spicy/hot in a good way. Its taste was a good bit better than the one from The Gallery Indian restaurant.
- The garlic naan was also superior, and the portion was larger.
- The mango lassi was way too salty. And too sweet. It was disgusting and I couldn’t finish it. It came out first as per usual, and it had me really sweating there for a bit.
- The mixed pickle was not that great. It was just mango and was way too salty. But I finished it, it wasn’t that bad. It was definitely edible.
- The palak paneer was very creamy and rich but not too creamy and rich. Great color. And spicy! Which is rare here in Spain, and Europe in general, and Canada.
- The chicken tikka masala was incredible. Great chicken quality. The sauce was not too tomato-y, had fresh ginger and great color.