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distance; 94.42km
total ascent; 1315m
hours in the saddle; 4hrs 51

oooof what a day! i have a feeling i have said that before but these hard days just keep on coming!! anyway not feeling too bad at the moment so perhaps this post actually might make sense and actually include stuff that i want to include..more often than not i forget half of what i want to say. My memory is horrendous at the moment...i just went down to the shop (no supermarket :( )to buy bananas but when i got there forgot completely what i was there for and after looking gormlessly at all the food ending up buying two cans of caffine free zero and a tuna pasty, oh well. So to aid myself in remembering things from the day i came up with a cunning plan earlier, i would attach a word to an event and the words for the day would all start with the same letter. Today for some unknown reason i went with D. todays words therefore are:
dampness, days, dogs, drizzle, directions, descent, ´desert´
(realising now a slight hitch with this plan is can i remember all the words? i can´t remember how many there are meant to be - remembering a reminder of a reminder is obviously a bit too much for my poor brain. perhaps next time i will use the alphabet sequentially then no number remembering needed)

dampness - little bit of a strange word for reminding but was struggling with D´s- anyway this was to remind me about the things that i missed about Murcia. one is specific that it is the first place that had restaurants with cooling jets on their terraces. Think cold air version of our burners at home. Never seen them before and was tempted to stand underneath one just well because. it looked surreal as you could see the air coming out..kinda like a damp mist. But Murcia was cool..just not literally. best part of it for me being that coming into and out of the city to my hotel was dead dead simple. I guess because its actually quite a small city. The hotel was nice too...if the night before last was good for the soul then this was good for the practical things esp having a computer i could use downstairs and and early breakfast time. oh and just before coming into the city from the north there was a random peak and on this peak was a castle, and on this castle was a huuge statue of Jesus. Must have been a hell of a view from up there, if i had had more time then that would have been a must to do.

days - so after getting off to a nice early start after breakie i headed out along the murcia valley. I think it was actually down the valley but i never saw the river so i couldn´t tell which direction it was going. orientation was no use either as the road went parrallel to the sea. Anyway i digress..for the first time in about a week there were loads of cyclists about. seriously a huge number. A weekend amount. i kinda knew it wasn´t the weekend, but for the life of me had no idea what day it actually was. not just a little blank in my memory but a huge gaping hole as i really had no clue. it was quite disorientating. In my world now there are only rest days and non-rest days...and the latter are severely lacking!

dogs - what took my mind of slightly panicing that i had no concept of the days at all anymore was that i saw a whole pack of alsation like dogs on the side of the road ahead. oh crapadoodle. a guy came into view soon after and it seemed they were sheepdogs. but that didn´t reassure me - the one time i have been chased by big dogs was two sheepdogs in Morrocco. so dilema..how to get past without getting their attention but still looking cool about it. Slowly was my answer, so i pootled by. and they didn´t pay me the slightest attention! i was a little put out! it was quite amusing though watching all the sheep standing there waiting patiently to cross the road..some even looking left and right.

drizzle- lemon drizzle to be precise. I had now entered lemon country..replacing sunflowers and vines were row upon row upon row of lemon trees.

directions - As i got close to Alhama, a cyclist caught me up and we had a little chat about where we were both going and all that. Having established that i was mad for doing the tour (this seems a common theme! i can´t understand why??!!), he stayed with me through the town making sure i didn´t get lost in the maze. We went our seperate ways after this as he lived there. but where the direction word really comes in is that i hadn´t been able to get onto my garmin connect to see the route for today..not only the route but more the elevation changes. I kinda remembered what the graph looked like and had a memory of it not being too much to worry about. what i didn´t realise until just now was that the route outlined on my map and the one on the gamin connect were actually different. Doh! So what was meant to have been a pretty easy day turned into a bit of a bastard as i headed into the Sierra del Espuña rather than underneath it. Worse still then i had no idea how long the climb was nor how steap. While this doesn´t change the climb itself it affects your mindset if you have no idea of whats coming. Oh and to add to the fun i could only see my road on close magnification on my garmin sat nav as it was only a wee single track (nice road surface though), so it was virtually imposible to work out where the road was going and if i was actually on the right road! oh the fun!! oh and another ´add to that´ was the high temperature and high humidity. Perfect climbing weather not!! Ah dear. it actually wasn´t toooo bad, i stoped and spoke to a warden to make sure i was going in the right direction and to find the way onwards, and he told me left left left and keep going. it was an amazing Sierra though...so few people there and very very undeveloped. I kept seeing my warden man..i think perhaps he was checking up on me going the right way...bless. but that has been a sharp reminder not to get too distracted by days away when actually the most important thing to concentrate on is what is happening tomorrow. As it turns out, as has happened several times with difficult planning day, i got an email late last night which changed all the plans again anyway! This time though i am happy with the new plan.

descent - ack. well descendaphobia is still in full whack so decending off the mountain was horrible. its not really decendaphobia rather worrying about corners - as this was where i came off in Mallorca. Making it worse was it was the worst road ever! it was like being in a bumpy castle. ugh horrendous. but thankfully a lot shorter down than it was up.

´desert´- the new valley was something different...it was almost desert like with scarce vegetation and any vegetation there was was brown and dried out. very surreal cycling through that. Curious i checked the temperature - it was only 36degrees. When you add an ´only´to that kind of temperature, you know you have been in Spain too long!

wow ok so that seemed to work! bit more beefed up post there.

Oh and Lorca-- well Lorca seems nice, not really explored yet. it is more a stopover point rather than a destination in itself. Apparently it is trying to put itself back to gether after a recent eathquake wrecked the place.

In other news...in the betting war of who will break first the bike or me - the bike has upped the ante by having the middle cog having worn down so much that it is starting to slip quite regularly. I on the otherhand am doing mostly ok..my right hand is still having problems from the pressure on the main nerve, it sometimes doesn´t quite do what i want it to do. but that will only go when i stop cycling. Any other bits are nothing that a nice day off won´t cure. Bring on the day after tomorrow!

Posted by louisebenn 09:22 Archived in Spain

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