2 August Ciudad Real to Cordoba

220km today
3802km so far
Today was a very big day. The hottest day I have ever cycled on and also the second time i have cycled 220km in one day. The map said it was 190km but I went even further.

I woke at 5.30 and was out on the road at 6.15. It was already warm outside. After 2.5km I realized I had forgotten my wallet. I went back to the hotel. An extra 5km to start the day!
By 9am I had cycled 50km. The N420 was quite flat and as the sun was still very low, I wasn’t feeling the heat.
But when I reached the first big climb into the Valle de Alcudia, the sun was coming up and I was starting to feel it.
The valley had a straight road through the centre and another mountain on the other side. I just kept pushing in my lowest gear until I reached the top.
After that, there was another big hill into the Sierra Madrona. I passed a town called “Fuencaliente”. It was very very Caliente by this time, in fact the temperature was rising rapidly. I had done about 100km but my water and my energy ran out.
I reached the tiny village of Azuen where a nice guy called Sebastian showed me where to find a tap with fresh water in the shade.
In these temperatures you can drink constantly but there is no shade on the road, and you overheat. In fact you start to get a headache as if your brain is boiling. So I soaked myself in water and sat in the shade. Sebastian appeared with a cold beer for me. It was so lovely and cold I couldn’t refuse. But I only drank a little. I also found the only bar in town where a little dog barked at me and the owner kicked it. It ran away pretty quick. I filled up with food and coca cola and put ice in my bottles. I was also out of the sun until 3pm.
The government have been telling people to stay out of the sun between 11 and 4. I was starting to see why the siesta existed in Spain but I needed to get back on the road.
After Cardena, my GPS was telling me to go West towards Villanueva de Cordova. It was further but I decided it might be less busy with traffic. It was. But also a lot hillier. I think I climbed about 10 times. They were short but I was definitely quite high up by the time I reached Villanueva.
Then came the fun part. I followed the A421 into a national park and into lots
of descents. I climbed a few times but each time I then had a longer winding descent. It was great and I even had some deer run out in front of me.
At Adamuz, I had a huge 8% climb. It was painful and slow. When I came down the other side, seeing a guy walking up and pushing his mountain bike made me feel a lot better.
The sun came down and I pressed on to get to Cordova in the dark. The road undulated as I passed over a series of bridges over little rivers. The sweat was glistening on my arms as I arrived at 11pm. My GPS read 219.8km and 8000 calories. I had a large beer and went to the hotel where Paola was waiting for me. We went for pulpo (octopus) and a beer. I was glad that the next day was a rest day and a chance to look around Cordova.

Ps. I have also noticed that my body is changing shape even quicker than my beard is growing. I am shrinking! At least I can eat what I want.

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