31 July Madrid to Toledo

110km today.
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!!

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