Hours in the saddle: 4hr 45min
Terrain: big hill start then undulating
Well yesterday was lost in a haze of food and sleep. I did make it out of the hotel for a wander to find a supermarket and internet cafe (am so surprised that these still exist but so glad they do!). To make me feel less guilty for lack of sightseeing, it was raining..a lot. But I just couldn't seem to do much without needing a sleep after, and being a proper rest day..I thought why not. If I have two lunches why can I not have two (or more) siestas??! And then I still managed to have the best nights sleep so far as well (even with a few hours awake from about 2). So it must have been well needed.
The morning started in my favourate way..two coffees and a tostado, and a big climb top it off. Started out a nice climb anyway..right from the city it went up and up..until it decided to throw in about a km or two of 14%. I wasn't a particulary warm morning, it was however the first time that I have had sweat dripping down my face (normally I just 'glow' ) and see my breath at the same time.
The 14%er beaten I found myself near the top of the hill and surrounded by wet wet thick mist. It was also really windy which made for a slightly hair raising descent. It was however a short one onto a high level plain. A few more undulations and then suddenly sun and mist gone! Finally! There was a chorus of hallelujahs all round, OK maybe not a chorus but one certainly came out from me. It still wasn't warm but the sun was able to defrost my poor feet a little.
A couple more climbs and then rolling plains and it became almost warm. The woods turned to grasslands (with of course lots of random trees) and it was home to the straightest roads ever. It was very much like the rural images of the US, even the towns had the same kind of look with wide main roads and diagonal parking.
My home tonight is AMAZING! It's all very uber modern and swish, a complete contrast to the places I have been staying so far. The bedrooms are all white and minimal but comfy. The bathroom is a wet room, with the hugest shower you have seen -it could probably fit 10 people in there with ease. There was no hot and cold tap but a specific temperature control instead, there was even a seat in there! Best of all..well there are a few bests but..mini toothpaste, a comb (both of which am stealing) and and and..a duvet!!! So happy!!!! Plus also a balcony to sun myself on. All for under £20 a night.
Bargins didn't stop there though. 2nd lunch was at the hotel and I had the menu del dia for a measly €8.50 for which I got salad, bread, a big beer, some omelette thing with prawns, beans and asparagus, baked white fish in ratatouille, and a pudding. Num! Though, being me, I was hungry a few hours later so had to go I to town to stock up. It's quite a random in the middle of nowhere town and I don't think they get many tourists here..everyone seemed to stop and stare at me, so it was a very quick trip out!
There have been a couple of surprises about Spain so far..
- amount of trees. Literally for as far as you could see for example on leaving Cordoba was a green blanket of trees, going on and on and on.
- The bitterly cold wind. So so cold. And it always seems to be there.