How To Survive The Heat In Spain

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by steve, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. steve

    steve Administrator
    Staff Member

    Aug 12, 2001
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    The following was sent to me by el Inglés

    ( Benidorm and the Comunidad de Valencia )

    Basically this is just a few rules that it might be an idea to follow , but the best thing about advice is that you don´t have to take it , so here goes .

    1 ) DRINK A LOT

    At least 500 cc every hour , and that means water , not beer I´m afraid , though two glasses of red wine with your evening meal should be OK . Sorry but alcohol and the heat don´t mix , also try to avoid fizzy drinks if you can because in these quantities they are ( literally ) a pain in the … Do use thermos type drink bottles , but don´t go silly as they only have to keep water drinkable for a max of two hours ( half litre an hour , remember ) that some can work for 6 or 7 hours is interesting but not relevant in this case .

    You can buy cold bottled water ( 1 · 5 lts ) in any food / drink shop or bar so there is no need to overload yourselves unless you are really going off the beaten track , mtb riders this means you . DO NOT DRINK FROM SPRINGS AND FONTS , don´t matter that the locals are all doing it , it can give you is a nasty dose of the toilet two-step, not good for a cycling holiday .

    Isotonic drinks : a good idea but not vital unless you get badly dehydrated , then they are essencial . Simple ones can be bought in most supermarkets and drinks machines abound , but remember Sunday in small towns can be very , very quiet so do plan that bit out more carefully than the rest of the week would need . You can buy big bags of ice ( drinkable ) in most places ; so if the need arises …..

    2 ) CLOTHES

    Sorry about this , bit a good helmet is a must even if it´s only to keep the sun from frying your brain , the modern types do an amazing job but remember one that works here may well get you frost bite back in Britain or other more northern zones .ps they are now OBLIGATORY on out of town roads .

    Use sunblock , studies have proved that protected skin stays cooler so take advantage of it , but remember that stuff has a shelf life so buy new and don´t use that tube you needed three years ago and still have . Apply it everywhere , even under your shirt , cycle clothes tend to be thin and you can still get burnt so take care and avoid the problem before it happens .

    Cutting the sleves off your cycle shirt will make it a lot cooler but do wear something , anything that keeps the sun off your back is going to help.

    Shorts should be your best as you are going to sweat like never before , and you will have to wash them everyday to avoid problems , it´s also no bad idea to wash yourself morning and night to avoid problems that will need a doc to solve , the bugs here are virilent and your guarenteed , what ever you do , to get spots or worse in the places the phrasebooks tend not to mention . ( show and tell at the chemists is not on , right ? ) so again try to avoid trouble before it bites .

    Do remember that your feet will swell and sweat in the heat , so make sure that your shoes aren´t too tight to start with and that you have plenty of spare , clean I hope , socks .


    Even small towns tend to have a cycle shop , the older , smaller ones seem to do the better work and , suprisingly , are often cheaper and can be an Aladin´s cave of old and rare bits and pieces .

    4 ) TIME and PLACE

    Don´t plan a touring holiday in August , there are too many cars and the risks on the mainroads too high , remember in many places the only road is the motorway and while cycles are usually allowed in these circumstances it´s not a good place to be in August ( one day on the bypass near here at 1 : 45 pm I was driving a scooter and the temp guage was going up while I was doing 85 kph down hill ! closed throttle and all , even driving I could hardly breath )

    If you have to holiday in August you might find it easier , and safer , to book a cheap hotel and spend the time exploring the countryside and the back roads , but do fit a really low gear , some of these climbs are hard work and as your going to be hot as hell to boot you´ll need all the help you can get . Many places will have shops that specialise in moped and cycle hire so inquire if it´s cheaper to rent than bring your own bike , many will also fit your own pedals and saddle so , again , check first .

    It may suit you best to ride in the first few hours after sunrise , then retire to your hotel when the sun gets too strong and spend the rest of the day with the familly on the beach etc , but do adopt the spanish custom of the siesta , keeping under cover as much as possible between 12 am -- 4 pm , a long sedate lunch as a lot to recommend it .

    5 ) FOOD

    It´s unusual to have problems with food , but it´s no bad idea to avoid anything that uses uncooked eggs , ie mayonaise , ali-óli etc . the chicken and pork is great but the beef can be a problem , would you belive too fresh ? the spanish tend not to hang their meat enough it seems , lamb and goat , rabbit , fish no problem but do avoid shell fish if you can , these little beasties can pack a hidden surprise to the unwary . ps hope you like garlic ……

    As long as your not planning on invading 5 star restaurants cycle clothing should not be a problem but do steer clear of high class / high cost bars and try to go to the places the workers go , as in France the truck drivers / working men tend to go for good food and reasonable prices so do like them and you´ll be fine . nb you will need a phrase book as the best places are not for tourists but the locals , but they are the best quality and the best value for the money so persevere .

  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Feb 22, 2002
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    Alternatively spend the day siting in a cafe or bar watching the world (and other cyclists) go by.
  3. cabia2002

    cabia2002 New Member

    May 4, 2004
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    Second Alternative: Go to the North of Spain, Summer average temperature 22ºC, green color everywhere and rain one every two days.

  4. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

    Oct 3, 2003
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    just thought that as the season starts there might be some of you that haven´t read this , have a good holiday . :cool:
  5. mareblu

    mareblu New Member

    Mar 16, 2004
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    How to survive the heat?

    Toma muuuuucha agua!!!! ha ha ha