Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wasdale Triathlon Sept 13.

Just thought I would update on what has been happening on the run up to Wasdale and after the event.

When I originally entered the Wasdale event I was really excited at going in for a Half Ironman that looked harder than the Bolton full Ironman event of 2011, especially the amount of climbing on the bike and run sections www.wasdale-tri.co.uk

Let the training begin !!  It was April and Salford watersports centre had opened for the open water season, so one thursday evening after work I was there..  after around 200om of breast stroke I felt ok. I was now on track to get faster with time.. or so I thought!

After that particular swimming session that was it until the day of the Wasdale tri Whoops!  I had good intentions of carrying on with my swimming but with 2 months to go until the triathlon I thought sod it I will just see if I can do this without any swimming practice.. which then leads onto the running..

In between signing up for this I had a few jogs around near where I live, and one day at work I decided to leave my car overnight and run home, that particular day I was 20ish miles from home. This was the biggest run up to the triathlon, by the time I had got back home that night it was around 11pm and my legs were Shot at !!  I ran a cold bath when I eventually crawled in at home lol

On the cycling side of things it was not too bad, I had done a few cycles on my day off up to Holme Moss and back, also did a recce of the Manchester 100 miler with my bro, this was a practice run for the up coming JoiningJack charity cycle @alljoiningjack

So all in all that was my training for the Wasdale Half Ironman. So not really ideal but my mind was still focused on completing it.. My previous blog post covered my diet on the run up to the Triathlon and past the triathlon (This is my normal eating and drinking habits - I know..... I should really cut back on some things, I'm trying lol)

Its the Saturday before race day and I'm driving up to Wasdale Head,   the weather is fantastic. Very sunny with clear skies..  I'm buzzing ! I arrive there about 3pm and plenty of people are out and about in the car park close to the Inn. I try to get organised with the things I require first thing in morning, plenty of smiling people around. I get booked into the @WasdaleHeadInn  its very nice and staff very good.

I check myself in for the triathlon and get my numbers etc.. Met some of the crew who were great very welcoming. I had something to eat and some pints of local ale then I was off to get some sleep.

Bleep Bleep !!  Its 4.30am..  Blimey that sleep was quick, I'm up packed and out..  As I came out of the Hotel I looked up into the night sky and it was brilliant ! The stars were out in there millions, what a great sight to see so early in the morning. I get in car down to start area. Bike and bags out and in place and everyone is getting into wetsuits and chatting about the race.. Some people saying I'm metal when they ask how training has gone for me and I reply with my training for the year ! :-)

Its 7am and were off.. My thought was everyone will now be flying off doing front crawl and I will be left at back doing my leisurely breast stroke and I was right. I think I had the best swimming view though as my head was constantly above the water taking in the views of Scafell,  Yewbarrow and Great gable Perfect!

Out of the swim and my legs are very wobbly ! I am not last out amazingly, there was one guy left so that made me happier..  I stagger over towards the T1 and try to get into my cycling shorts, socks etc..  each time I lift my leg up to put my socks on,   my legs cramp up ! Ouch ! 

I'm on the bike now and feeling well  ermm,   well not too bad !  After about 5 mins into the bike my left thigh cramps up !  lol Oh deary me...  not going well at all. But I carry on through the cramp and try to put my legs in different positions and eventually it wears off a bit.  The cycle is going ok until the 33% climbs then its off it,  and pushing it up Hardknott pass (Its feckin steep!)

I can remember as I reached my first summit (Hardknott pass) the race leader was ending the bike ride part ! Amazing that...  When I eventually got back to this part after another 2 peaks I can recall - how many miles more have I got to do and could I really finish it before 2pm cut off time ? I had a rush from somewhere and got it into my head that I could possibly do it, so I hammered it from there on in, but with 15mins to the cut off at 2pm I still had 6 miles to go ! this proved to be too much for my tired legs and resigned myself to just rolling back to T2 I reached the checkpoint 22 mins after close.

My triathlon was over, and to be honest even if I had got back on time I don't think my legs could have taken the summits of Scafell Pike and Scafell.. I stayed around for a short while to clap/cheer some of the amazing guys that were now finishing the run too, Brilliant times for the full race.

So that was it...  beaten  until next year.   Yep!    I have already registered :-)    I'm in again, but one thing I have learned is that this kind of course demands you to do at least some more training!

So that's my plan... Learn to Front crawl and do more cycling and running.. oh and try to eat a little more healthy and drink less Smiths :-(

Thanks for reading and following...






Sunday, 15 September 2013

My general Diet !

A few people have asked if I stick to a  "Strict diet"  for my adventures !

So I have decided to put on here a daily list of food and drink that I regularly consume over a weekly period.

This list could be Any week of the year !!  it really stays similar,  even before/after adventures/trips..

Monday
1 x Bowl of Coco pops.
2 x Bacon butties with Brown sauce.
1 x Large family bar of Fruit and Nut.
1 x Chicken Balti with Chips.
1 x Sweet and Sour Chicken cantonese style with chips and curry sauce.
8 x Coffees.
2 x Bags Monster munch.
6 x Pints John Smiths.

Tuesday
1 x Bacon on Toast (2 Bacon).
1 x Beans on Toast.
1 x Pudding, Chips, Peas with gravy.
1 x Quarter pound meal with Cheese (McDs).
1 x Bottle water (small).
Half bottle of Red Wine.
1 x Jacket potato with beans.
7 x Pints John Smiths.
6 x Coffees.

Wednesday
1 x bowl of coco pops.
1 x Sausage/egg muffin meal (McDs).
1 x Pudding, chips, peas and gravy.
1 x Large bar Fruit and Nut chocolate.
3 x Bags deep ridge crisps.
4 x Pints John Smiths.
1 x Bottle of Red Wine.
1 x pack extra strong mints
1 x Large bowl Pasta in tomato sauce.
2 x Bottles of water (small).
6 x Coffees.

Thursday
1 x Beans on toast.
1 x Bacon on toast (2 bacon).
1 x Bag Galaxy counters.
1 x Chicken Balti and rice.
1 x Jam sponge with custard.
7 x Coffees.
1 x smoothy (small bottle).
1 x Rump steak chips and onion rings.
4 x Pints Carling lager.

Friday
1 x bowl coco pops.
2 x Bacon.
1 x Sausage.
1 x Fried Egg.
1 x Fried Bread.
1 x Mushrooms.
1 x Tomatoes.
6 x coffees.
Half bottle of Red Wine.
1 x Tin Mackerel in tom sauce.
2 x toasts with butter.
1 x pack extra strong mints.
4 x bags Space raider crisps.
1 x Pork Ribs in BBQ sauce with chips.

Saturday
1 x Bacon on toast (2 bacon).
1 x Beans on toast.
1 x bottle water (small).
1 x Large Galaxy chocolate bar.
1 x Bag jelly beans.
1 x Lasagne with chips.
1 x Chicken Bhuna.
1 x Nan bread.
1 x Rice.
7 x Coffees.
16 x Pints John Smiths.
1 x bottle water (small).

Sunday
1 x Fried egg.
3 x bacon.
1 x tomato.
1 x Beans.
1 x Fried bread.
2 x Sausages.
1 x Glass fresh orange.
1 x Bar Galaxy chocolate.
1 x Large Sunday roast Beef dinner with york pudds.
1 x Large bowl of Ice Cream .
2 x Bottles Red wine.
6 x Coffees.

How does this diet compare to yours ??        Let me know.

Thanks for reading and following.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Huddersfield to Gibraltar cycle 2010 (Video)

Don't think  posted this on my blog. Here goes .....

video     

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Huddersfield to Istanbul Day 17.

Monday 4 June.  Day 17. (Final Day)
Malkara to Istanbul   130 miles.

After a wake up call with a difference this morning (prayers from Mosque over a megaphone heard all over the town and surrounding areas by the loudness of it - must have been about 4am)  its my last day, can't believe it's gone so fast when I think back of when I set off from home.

As last nights stay over was so cheap,  breakfast was not included ! I did enjoy staying over in a place like Malkara, as its off the beaten track and the locals probably don't see any tourists that much. I'm out with my bike ready for the off, the guy at the hotel tried to explain where I could eat breakfast but I couldn't make out where he was on about, so I head off towards the main road towards Istanbul, from the centre of Malkara it's a downhill cycle back to the main road, the roads are in poor repair with plenty of dust as local cars are driving past.

I stop at a local store to get some water, and a few snacks just to keep me going until I come across some place that I could get a more substantial meal.   I reckoned on a shorter milage day for  today and worked out roughly it could be just over the hundred miles, so shouldn't be too bad.

After being on the main road I was thinking its a good job it is about 100 miles today as the going is tough, not because of the road conditions they seem to have improved now back onto the main road, but the hard challenging part of the morning was the rolling hills - it's exactly like cycling along roads in Cornwall and Devon (plenty of up and downs) and throw in the temp - around mid 30s.. its tough, the downhills great the uphills painful and very slow, but the views are great, again you could be in Devon and Cornwall its so green - am I really in Turkey ?

At around midday, I head toward a main city/town of Tekirdag it looks a busy place from the hill I have just cycled over, then its a long descent towards there, I keep on the main road which takes me to the left of the main centre which is good, I whizz past a diner as go past the outskirts and think I should really stop there for something to eat but now I'm probably about half a mile past and turning back seems like a bad idea ! so I carry on, the road then goes up hill quite a steep one too, I start to flag a bit and end up crawling slowly, until the top then its back down (Yes that'll do)  after a mile or two there is a junction where you could go to a small town, so I came off and followed this dirt road down until I see a petrol station - I pull in, it's fine as I can get food, and drinks and a top up of water.

After a little break and water top up I'm off up the dusty hill back onto the main road. In the afternoon the main road does go quite flat again so thats great as I can cycle easily and quickly. All the way along this road I have the sea-view to my right which is fantastic, I also make regular stops at petrol stations, I have a craving today for ice lollies, I can't get enough, I just buy snacks, drinks and ice lollies and just sit at the side of the building and watch the world go by as I'm enjoying my snacks - I do feel quite relaxed today probably due to the finish later. Along the main road I was that close to a part of a beach I could have touched the sea, so I did, I pulled into the side and pushed my bike near the sea.. I was tempted to take a dip, but one look at the side of where I was stood and I could see sewage !!  No thanks haha and back I went on the main road and back on the bike.

Its about 5pm and I think I'm coming into the centre of Istanbul...  I can see a mosque in the distance its also a built up area like a city, so I'm taking photo's and thinking about where can I stop tonight. The traffic is getting quite busy at this time, I get out the phone app to see if any hotels are around. When it loaded up I was not in Istanbul but looked like I was just at the tip of a province and Istanbul was at the opposite end of town... Damn!     So I head off again in the thick of it "Traffic everywhere" !  5 and 6 lanes converging at regular intervals its like London but 50 times worse !     It's a fight for survival here, but Its forward I go, dodging cars buses, wagons everything that this place is throwing at me.

Every few minutes its Beep Beeeep Beeep !  madness.. an hour passes and I'm still in the thick of it but on the good side I'm nearly there, I just miss a turning, so I carry the bike off this main road, carry it over a grass verge, and see quite a large drop to get to the road I need to get on below. So the panniers are removed and thrown down, the bike is lowered as far as I can stretch my arms then I let it go, luckily it drops a little before landing Ok, then I take the leap down myself... Bump, its like a parachute roll over as I land on the road. I get the bike packed up again, dust myself down and off I go on the last road towards Istanbul, it's only about 15 mins and I'm nearly there, I'm heading down a cobbled street with restaurants and shops at either side of me, I eventually get to a main square where I see behind a mosque (It's the Blue Mosque, I'm here, although it was a little further distance today that I thought it would be) Yes....  I push bike to where I can take a photo of myself and bike with mosque in the background, its not really a good light as it's starting to get dark. I ring Mrs F and tell her the great news that I have made it safely too, she's delighted and just looking forward to my coming home. I update Twitter and Facebook and then It's finding a place to stay and get some food and wine.

I head back up the cobble street, where I see a place to stay, I'm straight in and booking a room, they say I have a bike where have I come from,  they are amazed that I have got here in so little time even after all the spoke/wheel problems! one of the guys offers to carry the panniers up to my room while I place my bike next door in like a empty shop window. The guy who carries my bags is struggling with them, so I show him hows its done , he remarks to me "Superman" !  (I liked that) haha.  Once I'm booked in and washed, I'm back downstairs and out of the front door, straight opposite there is a little supermarket, my thought is that my flight is quite early tomorrow, so I will need cardboard of some sorts to pack my bike up with, so before I look for a restaurant I head over towards the bins outside the supermarket where lots a cardboard and after popping my head inside the supermarket to ask if I can take some for my bike they just nod. Whilst I'm routing through the rubbish looking for the best quality card, there are people /tourists walking past me probably on their way down the road for meals/walks etc... I was thinking I bet they think I'm looking for scrap food..  :-)

After getting a stash I head across to my hotel and leave it with the check in desk for early tomorrow, a mini bus will pick me up at 9.45am to the Airport, so I will have to get up early for breakfast then break down and pack away my bike ready to get to airport.

Once sorted I head back down the cobbled street and the first food place is a Chinese restaurant, well..  I'll have Soup, Beef and mushroom, rice and a bottle of Red please :-)  after I demolished that meal I go for a walk about the town taking pics of the mosque and also go down to the water front, but can't really see anything so head back towards my hotel. Along the way I stop off at a corner cafe, I sit outside and order a wine, its very busy out and about wit plenty of people relaxing/eating. I decide to look at the menu and order a Turkish kebab meal now whilst drinking several more glasses of Red wine - well I am Celebrating. Its getting quite late now so I pay bill and walk back towards my hotel, and along the way the Mosques are again blasting out prayers again, its very loud but I'm used to it after staying in Turkey last night too.

The morning after I'm up about 6.30am and get in breakfast, get the bike packed up, and I'm all ready for the mini bus back to airport and back home to see my family (I have missed them).

The mini bus driver pulls up and I say goodbye to hotel staff, it's a 11 seater minibus, and there are 2 people and me, so thats great!    then I see that the driver is on a route to pick up more people, and when we get to 11 people on the bus including myself,    my bike has been in and out of the boot with everybody's cases being re-positioned were all thinking yep thats it were off now to the airport, well the driver pulls up outside another hotel with 2 more people to get on it really was a squeeze on this bus but we all got to the airport eventually Including my bike.

Total miles cycled from Huddersfield to Istanbul was 1930 miles or 3105km
Countries cycled through - Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, France, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey.



All with minimal training beforehand, and not an ideal diet before and throughout - apart from the Wine :-)



Thanks for taking time to read my blog - keep following for other updates and the Next Adventure :-)


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Huddersfield to Istanbul Day 16.

Sunday 3 June.  Day 16.
Xanthi to Malkara  133 miles.

Well its another bright morning in Xanthi, as I'm coming out of hotel there are a coach full boarding their coach (I wonder where they are off too today?) Its also very quiet, its Sunday but I have lost track of the days all I have looked at is how many days to go really.

I make the cycle back to get back onto the motorway again, hoping its going to be as flat as yesterday and I can get some miles in again.    I'm back onto the motorway and first car that goes past is Police ! but its Ok they have not stopped to tell me to get off, which confirms to me that its Ok in Greece to cycle on a motorway.   One thing that I have noticed along the Greek coastline you go through some tunnels in the cliffs, some small and some a little longer.

After cycling a few hours I start to look out for the next town,  to top up my supplies,  as I'm going through water quickly now because its really hot weather, and its around the mid thirties in temp.   I see a town called Komotini, I take the exit road and make my way towards the town, just a little further on a petrol station/shop..  I Pull in here and the only living thing I can see is a big dog on the forecourt...  Typical !  and its giving me the eye !   haha.   I better get off the bike and just walk slowly towards the shop, the dog keeps on eying me up but stays put!  good.   I walk inside and a guy is behind the counter I just grab usual water,  sports drinks and sandwich just to keep me going until I come across another cafe like yesterday.

I get stocked up and off I go, pushing the bike until I get far enough away from that dog haha. Then its back onto the motorway - not much really to see on this road, but it does help me get there quicker. By early afternoon, I see signs for Alexandroupolis - I see on the map that its by the sea..  Is it worth going to see the sea, or should I just plod on ?    I turn off and head down the main road towards the town, I must be nearly there when I see a little cafe/restaurant on my right. I stop and prop my bike against the cafe wall, all the tables and chairs are under cover but you are still sat outside so it looked great.

I checked out the menu and ordered a starter and main course and garlic bread - Not had that for a while but I was quite hungry, after this I ordered ice cream with my water and coke cola. What a meal and it was really cheap - I paid my bill inc a tip due to being very good and great service to the family that was serving everyone. I think they appreciated the tip in these hard times.

Back on the bike I now, I decided not to carry onto the beach, instead I have a longish cycle back up the hill to the motorway, its very long and start to break a sweat again.   Lots of water is the key...     Notice I didn't have wine with my lunch ;-)

I get back on motorway and headed towards the Turkish border, on the route towards I headed through a long tunnel, not really knowing if cyclists are allowed through I carried on regardless, as I got towards the end I see the sunlight and the tunnel end in sight, after coming out of the tunnel I also look immediate right and a guard is stood there looking as if he was going to say something, so as I start to stop then out of the blue a mad looking dog starts to run and goes straight past the guard and is heading straight for me.....  Jeeeez!  not again...   I think quickly and start to cycle from a standing position, I think feck the guard whatever he was going to say - I'm off !!  and it took a short time to get some speed up, the dog was chomping at the side of my panniers, while I was swerving from side to side shouting at that fecking dog to just do one (probably made the mad dog worse by shouting at the thing) anyway luckily enough there was a massive descent just after the tunnel opening, so I did start to get faster and faster  was leaving the dog standing now and that guard was well in the distance by now.

Phew ! that was too close...  so these dogs are mental. even when the owners are there with them.  I get a buzz when I was going down the hill now - I'm hitting between 30 and 40 mph so well chuffed. I'm nearly at the border now and thinking I'm nearly in Turkey, should I get more supplies at the last petrol station in Greece before I cross over the border - I do, and call at the last fuel station to buy water etc..

After another hour I'm going through the border with Turkey - this border seems a lot more strict, I also have to pay some Turkish currency to enter the country. There are armed personnel all over the place, when passing them I just nod and say Alright !  not sure if they know that word..  there is a bridge at the border too, it seems to go on forever crossing from one country to the other. I get my passport stamped at the Turkish booth, and the guy asks where am I going - Istanbul I reply - he said 250km to Istanbul. Easy I replied !!

The signs were stating 230km to Istanbul so not sure where he got 250km from.. anyway I'm in Turkey Yeah !!  I'm nearly there - what a feeling. The road out from the border is a dusty and not in great repair so every car and van that goes past me throws up lots of clouds of dust and crap. Also I have a hill to climb as I head towards Istanbul, the flat roads appear to have gone :-( its more like Cornwall/Devon hills now (very rolling).

Its still light the sun has not yet set,   so I carry onwards, I pass a place called Kesan, it looks very populated and a great place to stay over, but my thoughts were I could probably get a bit further tonight which will mean less to cycle on my last day - easier day on final day was the plan..  I have my sights on a place called Malkara now,  I have checked my phone map and according to that there are 2 hotels in that place, so I carry on, and on..  The roads are up and down, but mostly up nearing Malkara, also by this time the sun has set and the light is fading.   I'm pushing myself towards Malkara, and take a left turn towards the town but its up hill again, twisting up and around then up again its relentless, and from the looks of it, theres not much here, so the 2 hotels that appeared on phone (will they be still here, and how updated was the info on my phone map app)

I'm nearly at the top of the climb and start to see signs of civilization some kids run over asking What my name ?? What my name ??  I just reply Madhead - they look confused as I cycle on further looking for these elusive hotels. Its more populated by now and I stop to ask someone where hotel is?  I get blank look so I carry on searching around, after 10 mins I see one that was on my map app, I head towards and enter the front door, I look up at the steepest staircase obviously up to the reception, so its lift and struggle carrying the bike up them sweating like a pig (hope they have a room now) The guy at the desk didn't really speak much english so I had to get the phone translate out and give him the question Do you have a room 1 night how much please ?? He took 10 euros, I thought bargain - but I had not seen where I was sleeping yet !

He took me to the room, after a lot of trying to communicate, and gave me the key and displayed the action to me of how to open and close the door to get in and out.... Right I thought no wonder its 10 euros per night, I asked any food, he said No. Then he went to the window overlooking the street outside and hand signaled the directions to Kebab place,  food there he said.

After sorting bike and room out I headed out to find this kebab shop for some supper. I did find it, in fact I had 2 kebabs, and a coke. I was the only person in this cafe type place so after I had eaten I returned back to hotel, didn't really feel like it was a safe place for me. After getting back to hotel I said bye,  to the guy at reception (think he was the owner as he was trying to make conversation, also he was on the computer) and after I had told him where I was going tomorrow he brought up on computer all the places to check out and see whilst I was their. (great bloke for doing that for me,  but now I just needed to sleep) I get back to my room, tackle the door before getting some sleep.

Huddersfield to Istanbul Day 15.

Saturday 2 June.  Day 15.
Thessaloniki to Xanthi   132 miles.

After a nice breakfast and  "lots of it" in the nice,  but little expensive hotel.    I was loading up my bike with the panniers. All my phones and gps solar chargers were fully charged again after plugging them into the mains overnight.   The porter helped me out of the hotel and was asking where I was going to and where I came from he was very impressed that I was carrying so much weight on my bike and also that I had come so far in so little time. I waved at him as I left the hotel, it was a long way out of the centre to get onto the motorway. I stopped at a little kiosk en route for water etc..

The weather was fantastic and clear blue skies, but when I cycled out of the shade of the buildings the sun was baking hot. It was a busy place Thessaloniki, and getting out of town was busy too. I eventually, get to the motorway and my thoughts are - Can I cycle along here ? Well, it's a really great road surface probably matching western european roads for smoothness, and after the initial climb out of the centre the motorway is very flat, and continues to be like this all morning with only a few gradual climbs.

As this motorway is elevated a little with fences running along side each carriageway I get the feeling I could be out of reach of any mad dogs along the way today.   Having said that I was cruising along at about 25mph (easy miles) when in the distance I heard a little barking of a dog, I looked to my right over the fields and in the distance I see a dog heading over in my direction haha Oh no here we go again I thought !  Well, this time I had the fence and also there was a side road that run parallel to the motorway, the dog was flying and started to run on the side road but was looking up at me barking away at me, it was only a little dog but it couldn't half run !  I checked out my speed and it was about 28mph, and the little fecker was keeping up with me  haha.. after a few minutes it stopped and turned around and went back in the direction it ran from, I was thinking at the time - why are these dogs finding me so interesting that they run miles to get to me ! I can remember tweeting  I'm sure these dogs think I'm the "Pedigree chum" guy with my panniers full of dog food.

I plod on covering great miles today, its brilliant - sunny, smooth, flat roads. In the distance and from signs coming up I see there is a toll coming up ! Now...  What do I do now ?  do I carry on and maybe risk getting told to get off !  or do I launch my bike over the fence and carry on on the side road then after the toll booth launch the bike back over onto the motorway side ?

Well, just before you reach the toll booth there is a snack van and eating area to the right, so I pull in and take a toilet break, and also go to the snack van. Coffee please I asked the guy in the van, I also tried to ask if he knew if I could get through on my bike - He say -  Maybe! Maybe not!  Thats good then :-)

I decide after my cold coffee (Yuk!)  to head towards the toll, I pull up at the end booth a young guy looks and I ask how much ? He laughs and gestures to carry on through no charge !  That'll  do for me, so I must be Ok to cycle on the motorways. Brilliant!

I cycle on into the afternoon, and see a sign for a cafe/service area,  so I pull off and follow the signs, when I get there it's a cracking place there is lots of hot food on display, and there is hardly anybody in the place,  so plenty of tables to sit down and eat/chill for a while.   It was certainly the best meal I had throughout the day anywhere, it was roast chicken, jacket potato, bread butter the lot…  also plenty of coffee, water and sports drinks !  I even called Mrs F to say I've had the best daytime meal on the trip (makes a change from sandwiches, cake, crisps, chocolate etc).  I must have stayed there an hour and had a great rest, and even danced with my headphones on the Abba gold on ipod :-)) Happy Chappy.

After my break I carry on heading towards Xanthi, this was the place I would be happy to make this evening.   I was knocking the miles out much easier today and passed some brilliant views of beaches (Kavala) very nice sandy beach in my photos.

Just as the sun was going down I reach the turn off for Xanthi, it took about 30 mins to get to the centre from  the motorway.   I see a hotel on my left I pull in,  prop the bike up outside and walk in and ask how much? 30 euros -  it looks Ok so I book in, only one problem!  no food...    So after getting sorted shower/change, I take a walk down the main road, the guy on reception pointed me in the direction of a restaurant, after 10 mins walking i reach it - looks like a local - get together place - as its very busy.   I take a seat and wait to place my order, the waiter comes over and takes my order -  Spaghetti bolognese oh, and some wine. The waiter didn't bring a bottle over or jug..  just a single glass of wine.  The wine went down very quickly and I kept on asking for another glass, after glass after glass :-)    at the end he brought my a big glass of Red over and said  One on the house sir !  Fantastic what a guy !!  Needless to say after around 11.30pm I staggered back to the hotel very happy again for another night.