Saturday, September 22, 2012

Length of Spain Ride Day 8 –Castuera to Pozoblanco

A not too bad day in the saddle – just 92km today. Two things to note on this picture - Iain is hugging the shade on this stop, and this was just after we set out early this morning, and secondly Alex's correct use of his 'Do What You Want' lights, the hazzards forgive all sins here in Spain!

Lots of climbs and drops and it was great to arrive in Andalucia – its starting to feel like home!

More great road-side sights today as we cycled through more sun drenched Spanish castles, more monuments and some interesting road kills (polecats and wild boars), etc. Looking at all the castles and attractions we have cycled by it seems our collection of over 2400 great things to do in Spain has plenty room for growth!

And for the first time on the tour we arrived and had the celebratory ‘apres bike’ drink indoors! Its too hot to be drinking outdoors even in the shade!

862km / 536 miles completed – and probably 860km of this has been into a head wind! A tail wind seems a distant dream!

Nice to get a reminder late on today of one of the causes we re supporting.

Looking forward to Corboba mañana!

Length of Spain Ride Day 7 – Guadalupe to Castuera

Another tough day in the saddle – 116km on the bikes riding through Extremdura.

A nice enough start with a climb out of Guadalupe, then a tricky stretch where we had to ride past a winery, but we managed this then enjoyed a good downhill, and about 25k through a forest.

Lots of ups and downs before lunch by the lake with Alex and James, the support crew.

Then a very tough afternoon riding what, in terms or rises and falls was like the UK
moors, but at about 36 degrees. A very barren and harsh environment, with a few sheep fighting to get into what little shade was available behind the strange volcanic rocks. And there was nothing for maybe 25 miles – no shade, no villages, no bars, nada! Not even anywhere to buy a new bike!

I arrived in Castuera in bits! To make matters worse the support crew had done well and found some accommodation, but this was 6km out of town. As described by Alex as 'up a small hill, and then its flat'. Alex needs to ride a bike more – we set off on a 5km climb out of Castuera in 32 degrees!

A good day for bird spotting though – woodpeckers, vultures (who seemed to have more than a healthy interest in us!), cuckoos, harriers, hoopoes, etc all around us on route!

Roll on tomorrow - maybe go for a nice bike ride in the sun! What a superb tour - really enjoying it. And strangely enough I'm still looking forward to going cycling in Italy in a few weeks! So the saddle soreness can't be that bad!

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