Spain - Day 6 : Heat
Well rested we left the campsite. In the beginning the road only went downhill. The weather was nice as well. Soon we started the next climb. There were a couple of other cyclists as well eventhough it wasn't a very though 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 bad later on. In the forest we passed a man collecting wood. He hadn't expect 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 not great, we didn't see any car during the entire two hours it took to reach the top. Luckily there was a gas station. Spain is so sparsely populated that gas station often were our salvation to get 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.
In 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 were were completely 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. We had been having headwind the entire day.. like exactly head on. In the evening the wind picked up even more. Even in the descent we needed to keep pedaling in order to keep moving. The first three days we had had a light tail wind.
Around 20:30 we stopped at a gas station to get some more water for the night. The bull farms had ended so there were no more fences along to the road. We now were cycling through typical Spanish nothingness. No houses insight, no green, only endless dried up bushes and rocks. Somewhere on the rocks we found a spot that was 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 of course ate our sixth meal of the day.
Wildcamping on the rocks
View towards the road
The sun was setting
The route of day 6.
Distance cycled : 171.55 km