3464km so far.
The word of the day was HOT. And on the road there was simply nowhere to hide from the sun. Leaving Madrid, I went from the North East to the South, and used the GPS to avoid ending on the Autopista. The wierd thing was that I ended up going South East instead of South West via San Martin de la Vega and Aranjuez, where there is a royal palace. It was very very tough. The roads climbed in places but even on the flat i had headwind. Mostly i cycled on a very good cycle path. It was very hot, with no clouds, and no trees to shade me, I was boiling. All my water was hot. And even the headwind which should have been cooling was hot. it was a bit like sticking your head in an oven, a fan assisted oven. At a little town called Villaconejo (“Bunny village”) I stocked up on water and ice. I put the ice in the bottles to try to keep them cold. And at Aranjuez there was a nice royal garden open to the public. It was shady and had water fountains. Perfect for a brief pause and a chance to top up the bottles. The security lady, Consuela, chatted with me and was shocked I was going to Toledo today. It was still 50km away. I laughed and said yes, I was crazy.
After that, I joined the N400. Fast and straight, I did my best to keep going at 30kph. But there was some climbing. When I reached Toledo, I started feeling dizzy. I got off the bike and lay down. And poured cold water on my head. I waited a while and then went to find the hotel I had booked. I vowed to leave early tomorrow, to get some distance covered before it gets hot. Let’s see if I can get up!!