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Distance: 111.42km
Total ascent: 2555m (!!!!!!)
Time in the saddle: 6hrs 27min

Yesterday was a quiet day about town..for me and literally for the town. I had a bit if a wander about to see the sights and barely saw a soul about. I think actually I saw more cats than people. Though there were a LOT of cats everywhere. They obviously take Sundays very seriously in Almeria. It's not very touristy which might account for why, but it does mean that those tourists that are there have a pretty quiet day. You also feel quite conspicuous. Well to be fair I do anyway...my bad tan lines on my legs for a start (my new bike shorts are longer than my normal shorts, so days off..it's not a good look), and then my trainers are noisey. Imagine if you will A lovely peaceful cathedral where people are praying and quietly going about their business...until there is a continual loud squeek squeek squeek as I walk past on the damn marble floor. Sigh.

Anyway so yes I went to the cathedral..very fort and butchlike..apparently cos of all the pirates. Inside was a little empty feeling I guess. Very strong smell of incense but thst was about it. It had all the usual alter and shrines about the sides but it still felt empty.

After that it was up to a big old Jesus statue overlooking the town and the Alcazaba...my next stop. It may not have the reputation of the Granada one but it's still quite impressive and they have looked after it well, nice gardens in the first wall..arranged around the cisterns and channels that move water about the site. Lots of cats loitering about the palace ruins. The views down to the city and mountains are impressive..would be nicer if the first thing you saw wasn't the working port but hey that's just me being picky.

The rest if the day was just plain lazy...watched enemy of the state in spanish, followed tour of Britain on Twitter and watched the Vuelta finale.

After that restful day you'd think I'd be all rested and on good form for today no? No. Of course not. That would be what far too logical. Today was a toughie. God what a toughie. Forget any of the others that I said were had..this tops them all. It didn't help I got a wee bit stuck in the one way system in Almeria, nor that there was a lot of traffic who wanted to get somewhere fast so drove badly. So this put me in a bad mood. Then the route was straight on the up but deceptively so, so frustrating. And it felt like the weight if the world was on the bike..although it was a weight only in my head. By 20km I stopped and stocked up on fanta to try and get a sugar boost (no lemon fanta unfortunately which is the best..only strawberry and then there was grape..don't recommend either of them!). But I kept going...the up kept coming and thé heat kept rising...Oof makes me tired just thinking about it. Few if any other places to stop to recharge. Anyway to cut a long story short, I was a little bit broken by the time I got to Murtas...what was I thinking choosing a place in top of a mountain?! Anyway I made it and that's the main thing. Well just..some random fella had to help me take my bike down the sleep slope to my hostal as I was in no state to be able to control that heavy lump. He was laughing at me until even he had trouble controlling it. So my hostal is lovely...so so so nice. Ok granted anything would have been lovely at that point but it really is nice. There is a lovely couple running it and my room is huge! It's basically 3 rooms..one massive bedroom with a massive double bed then onto a little room which has lockers and a chair, then the huge bathroom. Lovely bright simple deco too...there's even wildflowers in the radiator. To top it off the view is fantastic...back down the mountain all the way to the sea. They do food here and best of all it's as and when you want it. I am the only one here too at the mo. Another place to check out if you are in the Alpajuras...it's called something like el mirador de murtas. They actually own another hostal the other side if this Sierra, if I was staying longer in the area I wouldef check it out.

So lazy arvo in the shade and cool for me to recover. Munching on some local biscuits I picked up en route..no idea what they are but they are yum. Oh and checking that I don't have another monster day tomorrow too!

New annoying thing to go awry..both ny charging cables...for my phone and for my Garmin. strangely both have gone funny at the same time but basically they will only charge at certain angles..different angles for each cable. So I am spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get things to charge and stay charging. Sigh..

Posted by louisebenn 09:24 Archived in Spain

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