Hours in the saddle: 4hrs
Terrain: undulating proper
You'll have to bear with me today as I am a bit on the tired side and so may not make much sense, if I ever do.
Were to start...well I think I jinxed the weather by saying I was looking forward to the cooler north. I woke this morning and it was raining. Strangely didn't feel too bad about and dug out all my wet weather gear from the deep bottom of my bags. I may have got a tad carried away..I was wearing EVERYTHING... booties, waterproof socks, leg warmers, jacket, head warmer..you name it and if I had it, I had it on. Nice to know I have been lugging this stuff about for a reason!
So all set I went to pay up at the desk. The look of horror from the owners that I was going out on the bike in this weather! I told them I had to go and explained what I was doing and that aghast look returned. They said that I had to have coffee before I go, on the house and tostados if I wanted it. Bless them, the thought that I was going out without coffee just didn't seem right to them (or me really) so I accepted. They were lovely people there...what first gave it away was last night when I ordered the arroz con leche. They were more excited than me..and that's something! The other staff kept coming up once I had demolished it and kept grinning and asking if it was good. The importance of coffee and arroz con leche...people after my own heart.
It actually turned out not to be that bad out..wet but not stupidly so, so happily cozy I kept all my layers on. It was the first day of not having to wear my shades and so it all seemed very different..life without the polarised lens. The start of the ride was awesome..mini alpine roads on the continual hills, and the terrain was just so..I don't know how to describe it. I guess it reminded me of home..green and hilly, lots of trees and cows, like the valleys leading up to the moors. It was also amazingly quiet. If more than 10 cars passed me on those roads i would be surprised. There was no noises at all apart from the birds and the rattling of my knee and my bike. At one point I came up to and rode along side the Embalse del Retortillo. Wow, a huge great big still lake, no cars, no people, just a few ducks on the water and fish popping up to the surface. It was stunning. I can't imagine what it would be like on a sunny day. Past the lake it undulated a little more then came out onto a plain where there were wild flower meadows running along either side of the road. Quite a mornings ride. It didn't matter that it was damp and drizzly, it was probably my favourite day of riding (not on a mountain). Perfect cycling paradise.
Oh I forgot..before the lake I was overtaken on a hill by a moped. Didn't think much of it until I spied him again on the flat. Obvious target for chasing! So I did..and overtook him. Now started a game of cat and mouse. His moped could only do about 25kph, so I was trouncing him on the down and flats, and he was catching me on the ups. This little game carried on for several hills until a steeper long hill when he disappeared off, a slightly bemused expression on his face.
Home tonight is Palma del Rio. Not here for a reason other than route practicality but it actually seems a nice town. Its quite large and has a mix of old cobbled town and new builds and shops. The people are really friendly here too. Although there are very very few people around and everything is shut.. A bit of a ghost town due to the Easter weekend. But that suits me fine. I had some food, and a wander about the town to find supplies for dinner. Now am quite happily crashed out, writing this and planning the next few days. It think it will be an early night tonight. Back to the city tomorrow.