Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Cycling from Huddersfield to Gibraltar Day 15.

Puente Genil to Ronda

Its a quiet morning and not many people around as I cycle off down the road heading towards Gibraltar, if I really push it today I could be very close to finishing! That was my thought but today ended up Very hilly ;-)

For the first few hours its not too bad its a little cloudy which helps keep the temperature down. I'm heading towards Herrera on the A318/A388. So far so good its about 10am and no punctures as I cycle through Herrera, now en route to El Rubio after around an hour I arrive in El Rubio, from here its sign posted to Osuna straight forward.. I take the road signposted to there!

After around an hour I end up near a motorway (A92) When I check my phone map I see that I took another road out of El Rubio.. Damn! It looks as if I can only get to Osuna via the Motorway.... This means I may have had to back track and take the correct road out of El Rubio. Fortunately I see a road on my map application that looks very similar to the type of road I encountered some days ago near Guadalajara!

Yes its a dirt road once again! that runs along side the A62 I start to cycle down and the only thing on my mind is punctures (Especially on this track!) but after cycling along the bumpy track past a few mad "frothing at the mouth" dogs along the way I arrive in Osuna. I don't stop just cycle on through here after having to stop at a train crossing I'm heading out along the A451. The sun is starting to come out now and its very warm.

This is where it started to get hilly (Very hilly) and hot! No wind other than at the high summit passes, then once your back in the dips its very hot/sweaty.

Its a hard slog and I arrive in Almargen for some supplies as I'm running low by now. Only to find everywhere is closed (Well there isn't really much here anyway!) So I look for another town that's not too far away, and that's Olvera. On the way there the roads are going down so its fantastic, the views are Brill too, what a day I'm thinking and almost at Gibraltar (Great :-)) Its around 4pm as I head into Olvera, just before I get to the town I get a puncture (Oh well its the front tyre this time so its quickly repaired) I'm into the town I see a petrol station... perfect Its stocking up time again with the usual water, red bull, chocolate, sandwich.

I feel much better now I have stocked up and I'm back on the road, its seems like I'm in the middle of the Mountain ranges in southern Spain now, as its hard going (Big climbs and winding roads, I would say that this area is harder than the Pyrenees). The roads on these Mountains are terrible, half the roads have slid down the mountain sides, just leaving half a road surface, and barriers sunken down. There are signs before you get onto these roads which say No entry/Closed but I had no option these are the roads I need to get straight through the Mountains so I have to pick my bike up and carry over the barriers and cycle on up those closed roads.

The roads from Olvera are the N342 and the A374 towards Ronda. Its tough going again, but there have been a few downhill roads, but there seems to be more uphill today. I reach a junction and take a left turn, and head down the A347 now, and its great (Downhill for about 3miles) there is a lake to my right side as I freewheel down towards Ronda, on the way down I take a photo of two peaks (El Gastor) Very impressive!

I cycle on, and after around half hour I'm on the climb back up :-( over a big bridge, and up again. On this road just after the bridge the road in front of me has collapsed.. I carry on cycling up the hill thinking that Ronda may be just at the top of this hill. Nope its a good freewheel down again though, and can't complain.. this road is fantastic its going on forever, straight down and down and down.. Brilliant, I'm thinking that Ronda is probably at the bottom of this great descent. The road flattens out for a while, that's OK I like this can't be far now!

Its taking ages ha ha then I'm heading back up hill on these switchback roads.. Blimey!! where is this Bloody Ronda place I'm thinking.... eventually after cycling uphill for around a half hour I'm here Yeah!!! its about 8pm ish, I'm needing to find a place to stay, I try a very posh country club place first, but I'm waiting in reception area for ages and nobody is around other than the guests coming and going. Four people are English are passing by me, and I say hello, they ask where I have been cycling too today, when I tell them where I've come from, they are well Impressed!

I get a little fed up waiting here and head off out into the main streets to find somewhere else, I see a hostel, I stop to enquire, the lady is on her phone for ages asking someone on the other end of the phone if they have a room!! She is chatting away for 10mins, after that shes says No rooms... bugger!! Right back on the bike further down into the centre its dark by now, I see a bar and go in to ask if any rooms..... Bingo! I'm in. Yes, I leave my bike in the bar area, and get my bags up to my room, they have give me a room at the top of the place on the roof more of less, and its tiny to say the least, but its a place to stay and that's all that matters. I have a shower, change and head back down the winding staircase that eventually goes back down into the bar/restaurant :-) I'm on my own table and ready to order (Its Spag bol and roll with several cold Beers) Fantastic day! hard, but great. And only 1 more day to go...

Total miles = 101 miles.

Average speed = 11.1 mph.


  1. Hi man.
    Its somehwwat intersting to hear you say that the southern spain mountains are harder going than the pyranese! Ive cycled up to ronda and around there a lot. Its been my training ground. So im thinkin i should hopefully find the rest of my trip up to the UK easy :)

    Olvera actually has a cycle route to Puerto Serrano. Its an old disused railway line thats been paved over. Its an amazing ride to do. But would have taken you out of your way as it heads west and not south.

    I liked the pictures of the broken roads. This winter we had the heaviest rains and prolongued downpours in over 60 years. They said it was 10x the average amount. In just 3 months we had more rainfall than Edinburgh does in a year!! So thats why all the raods were broken. Youre lucky you didnt come up against any closed ones. I cycled 7 miles down this road to find a bridge was totally washed away. They just put some cones up. No signs nothing! It was impossible to get past. And I had to u-turn!

  2. Hey thanks for the comments I have only just seen them, thanks for the info. I have just recently completed a cycle from home to Istanbul hence I'm updating blog on that solo cycle and seen some comments to the Gibraltar cycle.