With this route I will finish the N340 that I followed – more or less – for more than 1.200 kilometers from Barcelona to Cadiz.
The first part of the route was westwards facing headwinds. The second part to the north east enjoying tailwinds. And the last 15 kilometers to the west and to the north with heavy headwinds on the CA-33 also a kind of highway but the only avenue to Cadiz from the south.
After the rain yesterday evening today started cloudy.
After a little climb I made the downhill to Tarifa the most south European point at a latitude of exactly 36°00. Unfortunately the island with the lighthouse in front of Tarifa was closed so a few 100 meters I couldn’t stay there.
The next highlight I planned to see was Bolonia a marvelous beach with a traveling dune and excavations of a Roman village.
But it started with an additional 100 meters climb and so many cars. I couldn’t believe that all these cars can be parked.
After the climb I enjoyed una cerveza sin alcohol in a bar over there 😉
I have totally underestimated how large the island or peninsula is. 6,5 square kilometers but only 1,2 km wide so around 5 km long. I walked up to the summit (426 m). I never arrived because the last 500 meters to go were closed. Nevertheless I was on a height of 400 meters. Instead of summit I took the Mediterranean way on the east side steeply down and to the south. From there I walked on the west side in the height of around 200 m to the north to visit the Great siege and WW2 tunnels (in total 34 miles!) and the Moorish castle. Finally I walked about 20 kilometers and my lower legs hurt.
But it started with a mechanical problem at the cable car. I have bought the ticket up (14 Gibraltar pounds) and for walking down the walking ticket (5 GibP) and stood in the queue for boarding. After half an hour the officer told us that the cable car has broken down and it would be better to give the ticket back and get the money. So I started walking 😉
I did it! And I am so glad to know Costa del Sol behind me!
From my hotel room on the 5th floor I see the Rock of Gibraltar and Africa.
The last kilometers to Gibraltar – to be correct: La Linea de Concepción, the Spanish city with the border to Gibraltar – were so easy cycling, asphalted roads, less traffic, sometimes even bike path and no winds I enjoyed it very much after the obstacles since Malaga.
But it started badly 😉
Today I tested LocusMap’s navigation systems and ended after a few kilometers in the pathlessness. See the pictures below.
But on top of the climbed hill I had a good view over A7 and lo and behold: tow race cyclists on A7!!
So I carried my bag down the hill put it onto the bike and walked back to the road and drove to the highway. Fortunately in this moment another racer passed me at the freeway entrance ramp. I hurried up and followed him. In the beginning I felt a bit wrong there but the more I drove the braver I became. Of course I took the next exit but came back soon and drove to the exit I had to reach today.
The A7 is a kind of updated N340 with lots of exits and also roundabouts. So there are even traffic jams.
Yesterday I red online there are special rules for this sort of highway. One of it is that you can drive it by bike if there is no alternative road to cycle.
Finally I drove about 10 kilometers.
Then the climb of 200 meters started to the interior of Costa del Sol. Finally I was on a dirt road with steep climbs and downhills. Upwards I often had to step off and walk.
It was a wonderful landscape there and nearly nobody there. Demanding but amazing too.
And with LocusMap (not the navigation ;-)) I always knew where I was!!
Today’s tour was quite stupid. The road N340 is combined with and to A7 a highway. And even a highway without shoulder and without breakdown lane. So I was afraid of using the highway for 500 meters or 1 km.
Sometimes I couldn’t bridge a few hundred meters and had to take a detour of some kilometers.
It was arduous to find and follow the way. I had to look on the following few hundreds of meters and the following crossways but also an eye on the big picture.
Today I can add a special obstacle to the one for cyclists I have mentioned before (highway, railway, river) golf range.
Today I faced the beach in the south, the A7 – highway next to the beach and more northwards the AP7 – highway. And from east to west some riverbeds and golf ranges. A tricky mixture 😉
Bee line is 21 km but I drove 41. And total climbs of 1.000 meters if LocusMap is correct.
It was a bit difficult to leave the city because it is large.
I am a bit confused about the terms used for the roads. Today I used MA 21. I wasn’t sure I am allowed. There were three road signs showing pedestrian, traktors and horses aren’t allowed to use. But the fourth prohibition, the bicycle wasn’t there so I drove feeling a bit uncomfortably. There was a comfortable shoulder so I felt better.
The grew. Four lanes. This is so loud and busy. Nothing to enjoy. Asap I drove off.
There was a footbridge – also for buggies and bicycles – and I crossed the road. On top of the footbridge I saw a campsite next to the road. 8 lanes at all. Additionally the airport in a distance of not more than 1 km. Every five minutes one take off. Horribly!
Cliff coast is pretty nice and remember me to think of Costa Brava. But here is bad because normally there are only two roads, the highway and the N340 with lots of traffic.
I feel a bit sick today so I decided to stop at Fuengirola instead of going to Marbella.
After buying the lunch food I’m always on the lookout for trees and hope to find a parc. Today I found a large parc on the map. Disadvantage: a short but incredibly steep climb. But it was absolutely worth it.
A wonderful parc with – believe it or not – lots of different chickens 🙂
And a bench under a shady tree. And after the nap a bar with comfortable lounge chairs under shady trees with chickens 😉 I spent more than an hour there.
The coastline here is called Costa Nostra – according to Wikipedia. Costa del Sol. Cosa Nostra. Yes, the Camorra is / was here. That remembers me to think of Castell Volturno close to Naples on my Sicily trip last year 🙁
But here everything looks clean and neat 😉
On Wikipedia I’ve just red that together with Marbella Fuengirola is the village with highest criminality in the Costa Nostra 😉