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Spain - Day 18 : Molina

hadn't slept well. The last two days I had felt more rested, now we were done climbing the Pico Veleta. Now I was just tired from the two weeks of cycling. Bram also felt tired and started to feel his legs. Breakfast consisted of a small leftover piece of baguette and just enough spread to give it some flavor. After climbing through the canyon, it was mostly downhill to Molina. We hadn't eaten much in the past 24 hours, so we were hungry. We decided to buy a lot of food today, three loaves of bread and a big jar of paté weighing 840 grams. We ate on a bench in front of the store.

louriño paté

The paté.
 

Cycling went even slower than yesterday. The roads were perfectly straight, and the wind came right from the front. At a particular moment we came to a 'descent'. The wind blew so hard that we were only going 12 km/h downhill. Even when there were no major mountains we still continuously needed to climb smaller hills.

 

Around 12:30, we sat down under a tree. We hadn't cycled very far yet. The oranges were again not the perfect ones we had been searching for the entire vacation. Of course, we had the paté to put on our bread.

During the afternoon, the cycling continued to be slow. The wind was too strong. Near the end of the afternoon, we needed to climb and descend a lot. The climbing was more fun on the few occasions there was a sign indicating the summit.

puerto de huerva

Puerto de Huerva

puerto de paniza

A bit later we climbed Puerto de Paniza.
 

After two more significant climbs came to a descent. There we took these photos.

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Descending the Puerto de Paniza.
 

After the descent we searched a store, the three loaves of bread were finished already. It was often challenging to find supermarkets, but we simply couldn't carry enough food to last more than 1 or 2 meals. Ten kilometers later we found a small store which was also an internet cafe. They sold bread and water and some Turkish candy. The candy was horrible, but the bread was OK. There was a group of Polish people in the park where we ate. They were all around 40 and seemed just to be loitering. A lady had something strange near her elbows. When she turned around I noticed it wasn't anything weird, it just had sagged a lot.

We were now near the large city of Zaragoza. The plan had been to camp 5 km before the city. This turned out to be impossible because there were many factories there. We cycled farther today than expected. We got some water at a gas station and tried to plan the route to Andorra. It was around 8 o'clock by then. In Zaragoza was a campsite, but that would require cycling through most of the city, meaning we would arrive very late. Instead, we decided to cross the city and find a place to sleep by the road.

 

While it was already getting dark, we entered Zaragoza. We needed to cycle 10 kilometers through the city. Sometimes there were cycling paths, sometimes we needed to cycle against traffic. In the center was a good bicycle path where we rode hard, trying to avoid all the pedestrians. Five kilometers before leaving the city it was really dark. A path we were cycling on unexpectedly ended, as conveniently indicated by a huge concrete bar. Luckily we managed to brake in time. We left the city using a busy bridge. A while later, we finally arrived in descent wild camping terrain. The first meadow was well visible from the road. Some bushes shielded the second one. It was 10:30 by now. The entire day the cycling had gone slow. To our surprise, we realized we still had cycled 184 km, the farthest of the whole trip thus far.

 

Later Bram discovered a firefly. This is the best picture we managed to take of it.

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The firefly
 

That night Bram had slept pretty well. I didn't because we had been lying only five meters away from the 100 km/h road.

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The route of day 18
 

Distance cycled : 183.85 km.

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