Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Cycling from Huddersfield to Gibraltar Day 14.

Fuencaliente to Puente Genil

I'm packed up booked out for about 8.30am today, nothing for breakfast this morning, but there was a petrol station where I stocked up on food, water and red bull. I'm on the N420 heading towards Montoro and I'm flying one thing I didn't expect to be going downhill so much! Must have gained some height without noticing yesterday. I seem to be flying to Montoro, and arrive there just before 12pm.

I'm a bit peckish now, and call into a bar where I get 2 x cheese and ham toasties and 2 cups of coffee its just the job, spirits high with making the miles quick in the morning, but I do wonder if there is some height to gain further on today !

I'm heading out of Montoro, and cycling towards Bujalance on the A309. About 30mins after I have a puncture its the back tyre ! :-( panniers off etc.. Its very warm now at this time of day. I use one of the inner tubes I bought from France (It feels very thin to touch this inner tube, like silk) Its fixed and I'm back off again..

I arrive in the town of Bujalance its very nice, some great buildings to see and little one way streets to cycle down. Didn't really stay to have a look around here so I head out on the A309 towards Castro del Rio - and what happens over the next 3hrs is very frustrating to say the least, especially in the heat of day, also with nothing but open spaces between towns.. I had a total of 7 punctures over the next 3 hrs, bringing my tally for the day to 8 ! All the lot were on the back tyre :-( (Very demoralising at the time) Also after around number 6 puncture the local Policia decide to pull up behind be at the side of the road - blue lights flashing x two motorbikes (Looked like the old series "Chips") I could not understand what they were saying to me, they were looking at my bike, feeling the saddle, chatting to one another and I'm there thinking I have not got a clue what your both saying :-)

I do but in now and explain that I'm from England, and one replies "Ahh English" I then tell them I'm heading to Gibraltar.. He replies "Ahh Gibraltar, one moment" he starts to go back to his motorbike, and comes back over with a road Map! He then speaks to his buddy, who then goes back to his bike, and brings back a pad and pen !! Between them they are now speaking in Spanish giving me directions and pointing out road numbers, the other policeman is writing the directions down for me too ( I do know where I'm going but I didn't want to upset these guys, I just keep saying "See, " "See, " "Gracias and I keep nodding)

I see them pointing to the coast road on the map near Marbella and start to mimic riding a bike with hands on handlebars - Shouting the words "Coast road, coast road Yeahhhhh" I start to laugh, they are funny, but they are helpful in their own way. After about 45mins they leave me to carry on.. Blimey what a polava today is turning out to be....

I carry on cycling thinking when is the next puncture coming, those tubes are rubbish and at the next town I need to change them to some thicker type ones. They do hold out and I'm in a town called Montilla funnily enough I can't seem to find a cycling shop, but I do call in a Motorbike shop, and by luck they sell cycle inner tubes, I buy 3 and check the quality out of them, there are totally different- so much thicker to touch.. I keep going on the poor ones for now, I will change them when I next get a puncture !

I have a coffee and call in at a supermarket while in the town of Montilla, its around 5pm now and I'm looking on map to see where I will stay over tonight, my reckoning is to keep cycling up to 8pm (It goes dark around 8.30ish) The place I aim for is Puente Genil.

Its not too tough for the last few hours the roads are quite flat, I can see a Mountain range in the distance, but that would be the next day I reckon. I cycle into Puente Genil, I'm looking on my phone to find any hotels in the area, I find one its about quarter of a mile away - Sorted! Just then..... Puncture Again! same back tyre, just to top the day off with a tally of 9 Punctures!! I push my bike to the hotel, book in, I have to leave my bike near reception, so I just take off the rear wheel and take it up to my room, and changed to inner tube to one of the new ones (Lets see how good these ones are?)

After shower, I'm back down in the hotel bar area where I have a Steak dinner, and several beers too, its been a eventful day, and its that warm in the evening I'm sitting in the hotel grounds outside.

Total miles = 88 miles.

Average speed = 12.4 mph.

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