Total ascent: 1766m
Time in the saddle: 6hrs 25
I got up early yesterday and headed to the Alhambra. If there were no online tickets to be had it meant waiting in the q. Not something I really relished the thought of. It was quite odd walking up to the ticket office though as the gardens were so green, almost like a tropical rainforest. After weeks of dry brown vegetation it was quite a sight. There was even running water in the channels. I'm not sure if they pump all the water up there from the mains or it's from a natural source but it's still impressive. Still not feeling great it was quite a hike to the top. And then there was the queue. Ugh. Too many people, and it meant lots of people inside too. Not what I felt like so I kept on walking and carried out round the gardens and down the other side. It was blissfully quiet there, no one but the gardeners who's work stirred up the mint and released it's scent to the air. Time for breakie. The rest of the day was spent pottering..I went to see the outside of a few more sights, found an internet cafe. Found not one but two good bike shops where I stocked up on a few bits. And of course sleeping.
Today was a good day...aside from a fuzzy head in the morning. Granada got lots of brownie points for being super easy to get out of. So it was back into the countryside with nice rolling hills to warm up on. There is something very distinctive about the mountains in southern Andalusia. I can't quite put my finger on what it is yet. This side of Granada also felt very familiar and I really enjoyed the ride, though it was a long day it seemed to go really quickly. One slightly tense moment when there was a test of the maps..Garmin vs Google. I had used Google to plot this route and it said that there was a little road that I could take that would mean I could cut a large corner. When I got there however Garmin said nahuh, roads end and no way across. There were a couple of possible starting points for this road..the first just ended in field..gulp. started to think how big a detour I would now had to do...but the second road was a winner, and I thanked my lucky stars for that. You really do never know which is going to be right so it's good that it doesn't happen to often. Oh the other thing about the ride today was that it was cold! I had my gillet on for most of it and was still cold. Ok it was 20 odd degrees but brrr! Am going to have to dig out my arm warmers for tomorrow. I think maybe that's why the ride passed easier..the temperature. It also meant that for the first time in a long time..I got hungry. Food and I have had a funny relationship in the heat. Hot subdued hunger but I have to eat for fuel. It's been quite difficult. But not today.
So yes..back in my old friend Antequera. It's one of my favourite towns down here..along with Ronda. it's quite strange to be back though..I remember it but there are blanks..like el torcal..I knew the name but had forgotten what it was. Seems so long ago. How different I was then..keen and energetic where as now I am worn and weary! . Without realising it I had booked the hotel where I had dinner last time I was here. Lovely not to have to do the sightseeing thing too. Which is a good thing as a couple of hours after getting here it absolutely tipped it down with rain. So sleepy now..dilemma now is dinner or sleep..