Diary of last week II

Today is Friday. It was a completely silent night. No cars, no birds. The tent is completely humid. Sometime I will have to understand when does the tent gets condensation inside or outside and when it doesn’t. The mountain road slowly gets us lower. The forest transforms into orange trees. We are in the middle of the known valencian orange fields. The path is quiet and nice until we approach the suburbs of Valencia and the traffic gets very dense. We get bread in Torrent and decide that we are not yet prepared for crossing a big city. So we change our plan and choose a camp site west of Valencia. Before we go to a huge Carrefour to buy some dinner and land at this camping just next to the highway. It is quite big but still off-season and we get 30% discount. We buy one litre of beer to go with our falafel dinner. Life is to question.

Diary of last week I

[This is a serie of seven posts, relating last week events. Just one of the thousand ideas that come when you cycle all day long.]

Today is Thursday. We are in Alcalá del Jucar. The room was stuffy without the air conditioned. My ankle is much better and almost not swollen. Eva is relieved. The breakfast is the most industrial possible. We get a full load of glucose-fructose syrup in the mix of cakes provided. The day starts with a steep climb to get out of the canyon. Once outside it seems a different world. We would never imagine that canyon exists in the middle of the flat countryside. We are happy to have discovered it. The road is mostly flat until we arrive to the next larger canyon. At the bottom a desolate village, Casas del Rio, where we picnic next to a river. The clouds are arriving and certainly the rain will get soon to us. The climb has panels every kilometre saying the average and maximum steepness of the following 1000 meters. Still before the second panel we stop to quickly dress up and protect ourselves from the storm under a tree. The rain always arrives on the longest climb of the day. When it starts to calm down we get into the bicycles and continue cycling up. The kilometre panels pass one after another. One hundred meters before the top the rain stops and the sun appears. We are back to shorts and t-shirt for the next few kilometres. In Yatová, after a coffee in a terrace, as soon as we put our hands back to the bicycles it restarts to rain. Back to waterproof clothes. Back to a climb. The road winds up to another mountain. We look for a place to camp. After some effort, we find a place next to a small path. There is no traffic. Life is silence.

Change of plans

We have been gently rolling this last week, passing the not so flat Alentejo region, entering Spain through Extremadura and slide to Andalusia until one of the main towns: Córdoba.

Our rhythm is relaxed, doing as much as we can of wild camping. From here our next destination was Granada. We knew we need to buy the entrance to the Alhambra while in advance, something we thought of doing today, for next Friday or Saturday. Well, there are no more tickets. Until the end of May!

So we changed our route and are cutting directly to Albacete, via a national park. This has some good part on it: besides decreasing the trip by some 100km, we will climb the equivalent of Serra da Estrela (2’000m) only once every three days, instead of every second day. And this for the next thousand kilometers.

We hope to get the time to write more here before arriving to the Pyrenees, without promise.

De l’été à l’hiver au printemps

Etape de Madrid (Alcobendas) à Lisbonne (du 12 au 28 février 2017)

Il est dimanche matin, le réveil sonne à 7 heures. Nous n’avons dormi que trois heures. Le jetlag nous a gardé réveillé jusqu’au petit matin. Cela fait seulement deux jours que nous avons été catapultés de l’été patagonien à l’hiver ibérique.

Contrairement au Chili à la même heure, il fait encore nuit à Alcobendas, dans la banlieue de Madrid, où nous avons été hébergés par un membre de Couchsurfing. En plus, il pleut, il fait froid, il y a du brouillard. Mais à 9 heures nous partons tout de même, avec vestes, pantalons, gants et bonnet. Nos sacoches, au moins, sont plus légères. Il faut toujours trouver le côté positif des choses.

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