One reason are the back pain I have since one morning in Estepona so they last now for about 14 days. In the beginning I took pills (voltaren) but I stopped one week ago because I got the impression the pills make my heart beat heavily. This was confirmed by the information sheet I downloaded.
My plan was to stay a few days along Algarve coast and rent a boat and swim and snorkel. Therefore I’ve bought a snorkeling set that I gave today morning a young man in the hostel I stood for the night.
Back pain and cold water was absolutely impossible.
Another reason is that the Algarve is brimful with tourists. I looked on booking.com about hotels for the next days along Algarve. Either 100 Euro plus or shared bedroom.
And another reason maybe is that I am filled with impressions so I got less enthusiastic.
Tomorrow I will take a car at Huelva – only 20 more kilometers to cycle tomorrow – and give it back in San Sebastian on Monday. So I have enough time.
From San Sebastian I believe I will take the TGV to Strasbourg or Milano.
Today I hit the road at 8. But 20 km later I saw that I started at 7! After 20 km I passed the boarder to Portugal. There is a time change of 1 hour.
It is nice to start that early. The sun is almost up and it is a moist and fresh air.
To get to Portugal I had to cross over river Guadiana, the border river with its head in Spain and 745 km long.
The Portugiese language sounds crazy and very different to the Spanish one. It sounds more like a Slavic language.
My first impressions: the roads Shoulders are either not there or much bader. The prices in the supermarket seems to be higher. There are three VAT rates: 6 % for food, 13 % for luxury food and 23 % for goods and beverages also for water. The beer in the bar was 1,20 for 0,33 as cheap as in Spain.
In the evening strolling through Tavira I saw a military patrol in their open jeep. Tree soldiers. They behaved friendly but showed their gats and ammunition belts. This is a reminiscent of Naples last year.
I didn’t sleep well because it was very hot and I didn’t want to use the AC the whole time.
I got up at 7 to avoid the great heat. And hit the road at 07:45 after a breakfast in the hotel bar.
Soon I stopped and put on the primaloft and the buff on my head. It was about 20 degrees centigrade.
Very interesting is the range between top and lowest temperature of nearly 20 degrees. 20 in the morning and 38 in the afternoon. Maybe comparable to the desert because on the bald farmland the temperature cannot be stored!?
I made good progress and arrived at Huelva at about 11 am. In the pedestrian zone I drunk a bear bought suncream at the pharmacy and as I saw a supermarket also my lunch meal. Than I went on cycling but after a few minutes had to cross a parc and decided to do the lunch break here because the time was nearly noon.
So I faced the oppressive head again. But on the last 15 kilometers headwinds occurred. Some gusts were hot like a firewall but the more I went the more nippy the gusts became. Yes, I was at the Atlantic sea again.
I arrived in the hotel at 4 pm. Now I lay on the bed dressed with a t-shirt and covered with a blanket.
The weather warning for today was 4 degrees hotter than the day before.
Nevertheless it was cloudy until midday.
It took some time to leave Seville. I sometimes followed the wrong bike paths and than I was looking for a 1.500 year old cactus that was shown in my map but couldn’t find.
The plan was to go to La Palma del Condado about 60 km. Finally I drove 82 km because of the detours in Seville and because of a intentional diversion to see solar power plants. That was really great but very hot.
I had done some easy climbs. As I arrived at the edge to drive downwards again I saw a kind of a tower or pillar with a strong light on top. Immediately I thought this could be a solar power tower and it was. It was able to go there very closely. I estimate the tower was 200 meters away and the mirrors only 10 meters.
I was really excited 😉 Already in Almería I tried to see the solar power tower but it was to far outside.
And now randomly I was in the center. On German Wikipedia the cover picture shows P10 and P20 in Andalucia I visited today. There is also information on Wikipedia under „P10 solar power plant“ (also German). The annual output is 23 GWh.
I had only some crackers to eat and every market was closed.
As I came back to the main road with less traffic it was really hot. So I cycled from 3 to 6 pm with a cerveza pause at a bar along the road. And some breaks under rarely seen trees. That helped a lot.
Now I have to wait until 9 pm to get something to eat.
This night I slept very well. Last night was loud. Firstly I dismantled the fridge because it was so loudly clattering. But there was still a fan on although the AC was off. I switched off the two fuses but it kept clattering. I couldn’t find.
The next day I asked the receptionist. He sent the handyman who couldn’t find too 😉
So I got another room. Here it is wonderfully silent 🙂
Yesterday I felt under pressure because I had the idea to make it to Seville. I got up earlier as usual and always hurry up. In Lebrija came the end as I had to climb a little hill I broke down. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a parc there to relax.
Today everything was easy-going. I started at 9. After a few meters I saw a bar with people sitting in front. So I decided to take breakfast. Tostado con queso y aceite and espresso.
With the help of the both applications I checked a nice way with less traffic mostly farmers sometimes with tractors but more often with semitrailer trucks.
I have also seen today how great I feel cycling through farmland. It’s so interesting how they do. The irrigation, the harvesting and the crops. And to see the difference to farming in Tyrol. Here is so huge. It is like to compare a single-family house with a skyscraper.
Guadalquivir is the source for this agricultural prosperity. Wikipedia says he is 657 km long and therewith is (only) the fifth largest river in Spain. River Po in Italy is with its 652 km the longest of Italy.
Another insight came by cycling through Seville. 30 degrees plus is my favorite temperature for cycling. Everything is so warm and my body feels comfortable no pain no cold feeling. And there is always a bit of a wind. Of course drinking is very important. Today I drunk 5 liter and took 5 magnesium pills.
For my lunch break I choosed Los Palacios y Villafranca. On the map I saw a parc with a supermarket next to it. Nobody was in the parc. It seems it was made not far ago because trees were small. I ate in the shade of palisander or rosewood or Jacaranda trees my new favorite trees. Correctly it were Dalbergia another family of trees than the Jacaranda.
For the nap I lay down in the grass in the shade of another tree and next to the pool so the babble by the waterspout fountain sang me to sleep 🙂
Along one long part of the route eucalyptus trees made an alley. I love eucalyptus because they emit their typical fragrance. If you ever see an eucalyptus you know water is around.
Arriving at Seville I was received by green bike paths. So I had a completely relaxing trip today.
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.