Last blog day

Ya baby, slept in to 9:30! La sluggo.

Made a couple of Starbucks Via coffees and enjoyed it on the rooftop patio before going down and getting a substantial breakfast of Churros. I am really looking forward to my bacon and eggs, and poodle staring on my first morning back.

As the coffee and sugar were kicking in I spent a couple of hours catching up on emails and getting the mind back into work mode. Things are going to be pretty busy when I get back and need to hit the ground running.

I then finished getting the bike disassembled, taped, zip tied and into the box. Getting faster and less stressed about it. Now I just need some packing tape to finish the job, plus a wine opener.

Yesterday I bought the best bottle of red they had at the supermarket, ok it was 9e but still the best they had. When I got back to the hotel and checked the wine openers more closely I noticed they were both broken. When I went to the stores close to the hotel the good ones where 9e, I can’t spend as much as the wine on the opener, right?

So off sightseeing I went, first the Church, Wtf 14e, sorry not doing that. Picture in my head, gold, Jesus on a cross, organ, bla bla. Now off to the castle, 2.5e, more to my liking. Walk around and get some good shots of the city from the top of the hill.

It was a long ways and I just flew up but at the top I was sweating like crazy. I normally sweat too much and then the humidy… no wonder people stare at me. Anyway the clouds were coming in and rain starting so that just said one thing, beer and food.

I headed as far north as I felt necessary to get away from the tourist restaurants and buskers etc. Finally after twenty minutes people were giving me that “are you lost look” and I knew it was safe to order.

All of a sudden two people came out of a little place carrying a massive bin of Paella. I wanted a picture so bad but could not get it fast enough. They did not sell small dishes, dam! But found a reasonable place and settled in.

Then around the corner was China Hippie, their version of the dollar store. I got my tape for the bike and a nice wine opener for 1.75, score. I will donate this to the hotel to replace the ones that are broken.

Then back for a nap and some more planning. At 7 went out for more food and a walk by the ocean. All 3 Cruze liners had left and it was quieter. Pretty small port really.

Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow, this relaxing is killing me.

Anyhow, thanks for reading, I hope you have enjoyed another virtual trip, my ups and downs, and everything else in between.

Till the next adventure….

Cheers

Dave

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Cycling is done

And so am I, it’s been a good trip but all good things must come to an end.

Last night was the first and only night in the tent, I guess the camping thing is not so big here, but I have heard it is starting to gain in popularity. The dogs were barking all night so at 2 am I put the earplugs in and did my best to sleep, stomach issues again did not help.

I heard the Dutch couple at 6:30, they were going on some epic hike that they booked 2 months ago, rolled back to sleep until 8:30. Packed and on the road around 9:15, stop for coffee and away we go. It was downhill all the way to the ocean and a beautiful day.

Probably the easiest 65k I have done. Of course the last 15k were pretty hectic coming into Malaga but that is normal for any big city. There were bike paths for the last 8k or so but almost more trouble then they are worth. The deviation around all the traffic circles was mind blowing. It was one circle after an other. It’s pretty cool, you just don’t stop in Europe.

I got to the hotel and they had my bike box in their living room which was nice of them. Then carried the bike up to the 7th floor, unpacked and fell asleep for 2 hrs. Cleaned up and went for some groceries (beer, oj, and wine) staples mostly.

Walked around for a couple of hours but needed some food, both trip advisor restaurants were closed but I finally found something to my liking and fueled up.

The crowds are amazing and this is quite, seriously, you are never going to see me here in July.

I realized I never even took a picture all day. I meant to get a video of all the workers using the brush saws to clear forest underbrush and olive groves but I was just flying down the hills.

Now to plan tomorrow and the next as well as getting a good night sleep. They have a roof top patio which is perfect for the job at hand.

Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2670279894

Camping

Well, it’s my second last day of cycling and it was pretty. I got up and did the coffee hung and then headed to the super store behind the train station. It was the biggest yet and had what I needed for lunch and snacks. I also needed to hit a bank as I burned through cash the last few days with sights etc.

Then it was off to see if I could actually camp for a night in this nature park. The views were different every 15k, just like the whole trip.

After climbing to the top is was a quick ride down and very scenic. I went though another small town and before I knew it, I was there.

I set up the tent and got the camping side of things organized. I can’t believe I hauled this stuff around for 24 days to use it once. Oh well, it’s always good to know you cal sleep anywhere if needed.

Then I cleaned up and went to town. I used the car wash to clean the bike and then the oil it. Tomorrow will be the last day of riding and a clean bike will be easier to disassemble and pack.

Toured around town but there was nothing redeeming about it. Kind of creepy actually, lots of old people walking around like zombies, talking to themselves and making weird faces at me. Of course that did not stop me from having a beer, then back to the campsite.

I ended up chatting with a couple from the Netherlands forever so the map was skipped. It’s very cool here and I think it’s going to be a chilly night.

This town is pretty weird, it’s like I am the first outsider. Now I am in a bar and everyone is watching a John Wayne movie like they are part of it. I am waiting for the only restaurant that is open today, 8:30 and they have meat is the only thing I was able to figure out talking to the old owner. By the way John Wayne does not seem so imposing with a high pitched Spanish voice.

I think I am ready to come home.

Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2667937058

Relaxing in Ronda

It was nice to sleep in to 8:30 am. Slowly got up and made it to a cafe to plan the day and get caffeinated. With my route planned out for maximum efficiency I was off. It was supposed to rain off and on and I wanted to beat the crowds.

I made it down to the edge of the city, which is on a cliff, and got some quick pictures but noticed two tour groups ahead of me, selfi sticks at the ready. With a few stealthy moves and a few “pardon’s I got ahead of both groups.

Now with my route clear of groups I could just wander and check out all the sights. I hit about 3 historical sites and spent nearly 1hr in each, the first was so well done.

Then off to the famous bridge and the old town.

I walked most of the way down the gorge to get some good views and walked back to the top listening to everyone else gasp for air. The old town as you can imagine was great, lots to see and the walk to the old mine site was great. It was 300 steps down to the bottom of the gorge all inside a cliff with water dripping everywhere. This would be the perfect thing to do on a +38 day.

I finally saw a Vulture, this one was very colourful, and was noisy. Wait for it…

So a few more sites and it was time for lunch. Apparently Ronda has some of the best restaurants in Spain, the most for sure. I spent forever on trip advisor looking for something non touristy and found a great place. Finally got to have the Menu del Dia, a 3 course lunch deal. Good value but hard to do when it starts a 2pm and takes an hour, at least for me when I am cycling.

Then the rain so it was off for siesta.

I am too far ahead of schedule and very train to Seville or Cordoba is booked so I am just going to slowly make my way to Malaga.

I went to dinner but the place I wanted to go to did not open to 9pm and I just did not want to wait, so I went into a tourist place and had a Calzone. It was quite good but too big!

The only downside was the table behind me was 4 brits complaining about everything in Spain, fuck off go home!

Not sure if I posted a good shot of the hams but here you go.

And the last thought of the day is, has anyone told Europeans that smoking is bad for them. I am impressed that you can’t smoke in a restaurant but everywhere else it seems like they all smoke. Maybe I just notice it more.

Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2665522924

No birds today

I was off before 9 in search of the vulture viewing spot. The bike trail was closed and as I got closer the highway was also closed. I tried another trail that said it went there but no luck, that trail was washed out too. So after 3 1/2 hours I was back where I started in Olvera.

So now i tried to shop for lunch but everything was closed, it is labour day tomorrow and as I have now learned, if the holiday falls on a Tuesday they take the Monday off too. Their version of a long weekend. The good part of this was coming into Olvera a different way so I got some better pictures.

I wanted to take a scenic way to Ronda so I planned a route that looked good. I was now firmly in farmland and passed many asparagus pickers and then entered into a cool river valley.

Once I got out of the valley it was mayhem, cars one after another in both directions for 20k. There were some pretty little towns along the way and I think people were taking day trips from Ronda. I was pretty bagged by the time I got to the hotel, concentrating on the road when it is that busy is exhausting.

The hotel said on booking dot com that it was full the next day but when I asked, the front desk guy said no problem and gave me a discount for two days. No riding tomorrow. Yahoo!

I could not believe how busy it was walking to the restaurant, on the shopping street it was 20 people wide for as far as I could see. I had a great dinner at a highly rated place, they said it was like eating at home, but I did not have a poodle starring at my plate so not quite the same. You could see it’s was busy and the espresso bar was jammed with dishes and she was not pulling very good shots, I nearly went behind the bar to load the dishwasher but managed to resist.

Now being really tired from a few bad sleeps I am heading back to the hotel and writing “to do” lists for home and getting to bed early. Chow

Day whatever +1 Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2663014721

Blustery Day

I think it’s the people that make a good stay at the hotels here. I went for a coffee and ordered a tostada but I think he was giving me many options but I did not understand. So he smiled and brought out the toast with every option possible. Then showed me I could choose what I wanted. Very nice.

The windmills were churning and the winds strong. The sky’s were dark as well so it was going to be interesting. The first bit went fairly well and it was nice to see some rocks, cliffs and really, anything other than an olive tree.

The next small town was interesting as it seemed a mixture of new, a chopper shop and disco, and the old.

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Then through some farmland and the rain started with my climb. It was about 5k and was pretty even though it was freezing and windy, including hail.

I was now only 10k away from Olvera and a warm shower. Checked into the hotel and quickly out to see the town while the sun was still shinning. First was the old castle

Then I walked around some more to get away from the tourist train and bars with English, found a great little place full of old me playing Dominos. Everyone looked at me when I walked in, a good sign.

When I went to pay at the bar I brought my beer glass up as I usually do, then paid and grabbed the glass and started walking out. I realized I had the empty glass in my hand and turned around to give it back and the bartender was laughing pretty hard, I have her the ” I am sleepy” sign and she yelled Siesta. I think that is good advice!

I found out the greenway I was hoping to bike to see the vultures is closed due to the recent rains so I will have to take the road, but that’s ok it’s looks fun too.

Now for some vino and tapas and bed.

Day Whatever it is Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2661132924

Greenway to Roadway

Up early with the traffic, so packed up, put my wheel back on and went across the highway for an espresso.

The greenway was a little less spectator today but fun none the less. People in Spain drive on the right like NA but walk on the left. But on this trail some on both side so I was weaving around them all. It was Saturday so everyone was out near the towns and that is kind of fun. Then as I got away from the cities it was pretty quiet. I met a lady from the Netherlands and we chatted for a half hour and then I was on my way. I was jealous of her bike, a roll off hub ( many gears enclosed) belt drive, and USB power front hub and figure 8 handlebars, this will be my next bike.

I saw she was carrying full panniers and asked if she was camping, she laughed and said once in 3 weeks, just not a camping country like Northern Europe.

I stopped at another of the old railways stations, which they have converted into bars and restaurants, it was cold and windy so a espresso and pastrie were in order.

Then I came to the city of Lucena and left the greenway for roads. As usual, stopped for lunch supplies and was off. Again, great roads and quiet.

I started off with rolling hills and then some steady climbing, really nothing too big but seemed long with tired legs. Then finally got to the top and a reminded came up on my phone, ” check the hot tub”, I nearly cried. Can’t wait to get into my hot tub and not wake up with sore legs.

The rest of the day was kind of bla, head down with the wind and get to the hotel. I love checking into the bar for the hotel, it’s fun, although spain was playing football so it was a little harder to communicate over the roar! A little rest after a longer day and back down for some wine and food.

My watch says 36 hrs recovery time, ha, back to a 70k day in 12. Maybe this has something to do with the sore legs….

I am now at the 3 week itch as I call it, missing the family and home more than being on Holliday’s

Day 17 Stats:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2657924165