We finally started cycling in Spain. We’ve come from Sevilla, in the west of Andalucia, to a bit east of Almeria on the Southern coast. Our first day out of Sevilla was not particularly pleasant, as I said on facebook, kind of like taking a cold mud bath in a rubbish tip on a motor way. In a bad mood. We did eat octopus for dinner which made up for the crappy day somewhat.
From then on things improved dramatically. We spent a fantastic day on a Via Verde, an old railway converted to a cycling path. We saw olive groves, red clay fields, old stations, a vulture reserve, goat traffic and rode through hills through thirty tunnels instead of over hills. Perfecto. At the end of the day we stopped in the white hilltop town of Olvera, which has a Moorish castle and massive church on top. That’s Moorish as in Arab, not moorish as in tasty snacks that you want to eat more of. The next town, the undiscovered gem of Ronda *only 60,000 viistors each day was also quite Moorish.
Speaking of moorish, tapas are pretty much the best thing in the world. Lots of tasty dry ham, intestines with chickpeas, quail eggs, tortilla, asparragus and of course very cheap small glasses of beer. And since we can’t stay up late enough for dinner, they make quite a good evening meal.
It was raining in Ronda so we took a train (wait, that’s not biking…. to Granada, a university city next to the mighty Sierra Nevada to stay with some warm showers people. They took us out for more yummy tapas and we wandered around the outside of the Alhambra, the big Moorish palace.
From there we cycled up and down and up and down and up and down through the Alpujarra, through a valley next to the Sierra Nevada. We pretty had our own road through the mountains, lemon trees, cactuses and little mountain towns. We rode the easier side of the valley and it was still very hilly but lovely riding.
Eventually we descended into Europe’s only desert, past a thousand square kilometres of plastic green houses, to the Mediteranean… which has no waves…and into the natural park of Cabo de Gata. It was pretty much like Mexico. And there were flamingos. In Spain. We wild camped for the first time on a hill above our own little beach.
Now I’m not sure where we are, it might be Spain somewhere south of valencia, on a big road with masses of apartments, a couple of strip clubs, some curry places and lots of bars on the beach. And lots of Brits on holiday. The weather is nice. Weird. So we will go back in