Spain - Day 15 : Olives and crickets
We slept well on the soft hay. It had likely also helped that it had been 10 degrees warmer this night compared to the previous one. Breakfast consisted of baguette and the last scraps of honey. Fortunately we found a store after the first 10 kilometers, in Torre Cardela. When we entered someone followed us and started to talk in Spanish. Apparently we had used the staff entrance.
In the store we bought the normal things: bread, spreads, dessert, fruit, and drinks. The man behind the desk was watching us constantly. After we found some fruit and have him weight it he felt he needed to tell us we really needed to pay at the checkout. When we left the store an old man came up to us. Half of the Spanish citizens seem to be old men. He first started talking in Spanish to Bram. Then he continued in German how he had worked in Germany for 28 years. Now he was retiring in Spain because the weather here was much better. We couldn't argue with that.
We rode over a hilly and large road. Everywhere around us were olive trees. Today it was hot again, at least 33 degrees. By now we were used to the temperature and it didn't bother us as much. The road we followed went towards Ubeda. We took a shortcut before descending. It was a straight road several kilometers long. We went 50 km/h among the olive trees. There were crickets everywhere that made more noise than some of the trucks driving by.
Olive trees as far as we could see
This is where we came from.
Suddenly there was a sign indicating the road would be closed within a kilometer. We continued and soon saw why. The entire road had sagged over a distance of 100 meters. We climbed two meters down, cycled through the sand and hoisted our bikes back on the road again. The rest of the day we didn't see anything except olive trees. Much more cars were honking at us today compared to on the way south. Back then it hadn't been even one a day on average.
In a village we sat down to eat in a park. To get there with our bikes we needed to ride over an empty terrace where a guy was working. When we were sitting for a while he came up to is. He started speaking in Spanish even though we told him we didn't understand. He kept on talking and touching Bram's bike. He squeezed his brakes and rang his bell. After 10 minutes we stopped giving him attention but he kept going. Bram tried to interested him in my bike but that didn't work. He was almost as bad as the merchants in Morocco. Only after 15 minutes he gave up and continued working.
The large road we were on wasn't flat but passed through the mountains. Like on many other places in Spain the large road had replaced an older road, by just putting the asphalt directly on top. In the Netherlands they would have first completely removed the older one, but here many of its turns were still there.
Around 16:30 we stopped at a gas station to get cola and ice cream. All our food was gone already. We had done the math and realized that one of those 2,2L bottles of cola contained 250% of your daily recommended amount of sugar and 50% of the calories. Maybe that would help us a little. The cafeïne also helped us getting through the next 20 kilometers.
We were still surrounded by olive trees
Around five we wanted to buy food, but the next village was still far away. Around 18:00 we entered a supermarket and the owner again kept an eye on us. Probably because we hadn't shaved in two weeks and not showered in 3 days. Every time we walked into another corridor the lady just 'happened' to need to adjust something there as well. When we realized what was going on we on purposely walked all the way back to the other end of the store. After she arrived there we walked back to the check out as fast as possible. Ten seconds later she was there as well. Even while we were paying she was keeping an eye on us.
After dinner it was already pretty late. We had around 1,5 hours of cycling left through the olive groves. When the sun set we started looking for a place to sleep. The GPS showed we wouldn't pass a campsite until two days from now. Even when we did, it would still need to line up to our schedule. If we stopped cycling too early we would waste too much time and if we kept going until late at night the campsite would defeat its purpose. We drove up a dirt road leading away from the main road. Soon we found a spot behind some bushes. However, the ground was horrible there, it was rock solid. We decided to keep going a bit further up the path. The road was so bad only an all-terrain vehicle would be able to ride there, which was nice because that meant there probably wouldn't be any visitors. Behind a hill we found a dried up water pool, which had resulted in a perfectly flat piece of ground. We pitched our tents and enjoyed the view.
Sunset from our campsite
We lay down on our mattresses to get some rest. In the distance I saw an animal. It was black, a kind of marten, but with a white tail. When it was almost dark I went to the bathroom, on the other side of the hill. After half a minute I noticed something moving. There were two jeeps coming in my direction. They didn't have their lights on. I quickly ran back to our tents, hoping they hadn't seen me. They seemed to be going in another direction so we both went to sleep. After 10 minutes we heard the cars. I couldn't see anything from my tent, but Bram said he could hear the cars coming in our direction. I put my trousers on in case I needed to go outside. Probably they saw us but they still continued. A bit farther they stopped, but then continued again. Now they certainly wouldn't come back and we could sleep at ease.
The route of day 15.
Distance cycled : 171.05 km