May 6 - Jerez de la Frontera
This was an optional ride day. It was a loop ride to Jerez de la Frontera. Most of the riders opted out for various reasons. Trish Olson from Paulsbo had her bicycle stolen from our hotel's "secure" parking lot. She was very upset because it was a high-end bike that her husband had built for her. (Several days later, the local police recovered her bike and returned it to her).
Most of the non-riders rode to Jerez either in our van or in my car. We had an arranged tour of Tio Pepe. This is a well-known sherry producer. We started the tour with a mini-train tour of the grounds. Then we were led through a series of buildings containing oak barrels of aging sherry. Some of the buildings had artifacts from the family history including penny farthings and carriages. Many of the kegs had signatures of famous people including Picasso, Winston Churchill, Orson Wells, et al. There was a special section with special aged sherry for the royal family.
Our tour concluded with two sherry tastings and a small snack of cheese and salami.
Cindy Graham and Barry Pullen were in my group. We took a walk into the main part of town and stumbled onto a bakery where I had a chocolate pastry and coffee. After that, we set sails for home.
I had dinner tonight with my Berkeley friends at Babel, a Moroccan restaurant. My chicken tagine was very good - salty and lemony.