Spain - Day 6 : Heat
We left the campsite well-rested. The road only went downhill in the beginning. The weather was nice as well. Soon we started the next climb. There were a couple of other cyclists, even though it wasn't a very tough mountain.
On top of the Puerto de Cruz Verde.
It was already hot enough to need sunscreen. The descent started nicely.
During the descent
We cycled fast through all the corners. Suddenly I noticed we were deviating from our intended route. That was strange as I hadn't seen any side roads. On closer inspection, it became clear that the route I had planned went down over a dirt road. We had three options: climb back and take the correct road, descent further and take a detour, or climb back a little and take a second dirt road down. The dirt road seemed the fastest option. The path was fine in the beginning but got worse later on. In the forest, we passed a man collecting wood. He hadn't expected to see anyone and was quite shocked. The view was beautiful. There were bare rocks everywhere. After sliding down over the loose rocks with our brakes squeezed as hard as we could, there followed a bit of trail cycling. We were happy when we saw asphalt.
We quickly found a 'supermercado' where we stacked up on food and water. After lunch, we reached a long straight road of a kind that is virtually nonexistent in the Netherlands. From on top of the long hills, we could see the road running several kilometers into the distance. It was around noon when we started a very long climb. We could tell we were in the hottest part of Spain. It was already well above 30 degrees, and we weren't used to it yet.
Long straight roads, we were going this way.
We came from here
I carried three liters of water, 1,5L on my bike and another 1,5L in my panniers. It was so hot that after half an hour the water was warm enough to shower with. The climb wasn't very steep and the road was not great, we didn't see any cars during the two hours it took to reach the top. Luckily there was a gas station. Spain is so sparsely populated that gas stations often were our salvation for getting water or food. In France are so many stores that gas stations usually don't sell much food. This time we got some cold soda and took a break in the shade, we needed it. The descent to Talavera was irregular but still better than climbing in the heat. Along the way, we took this panorama photo.
During the descent to Talavera.
After Talavera, we again came on one of the endless straight roads. This time it ran in between bull farms. On each side were fences with bulls behind them. Most of the time we didn't see them because the expanses of land were so large. After we were wholly baked, we took a break in Alcaudete de la Jara around 6. The village would easily fit in a western movie. On each side of the road were a few mud-colored garages and houses. Apart from the main road there was hardly any asphalt.
After dinner, the roads remained straight and the temperature high. The wind had been exactly head-on the entire day. In the evening it picked up even more. Even in the descent we needed to keep pedaling to keep moving. The first three days we had had a light tailwind.
Around 20:30, we stopped at a gas station to get more water for the night. The bull farms had ended, so there were no more fences along the road. We were now cycling through typical Spanish nothingness. No houses in sight, no green, only endless dried-up bushes and rocks. Somewhere on the rocks we found a spot well hidden from the road, which became our camping spot. We didn't sleep well because the soil was rock solid and not completely level. Before going to bed, we ate our sixth meal of the day.
Camping on the rocks
Our view towards the road
The sun was setting
Our route on day 6.
Distance cycled : 171.55 km.