4115km so far.
It’s 28 past midnight and I am shattered. I arrived in Adra at about 11pm. It had not been an easy cycle at all.
I started the day in Granada and visited the Alhambra in the morning. It was certainly unmissable. A huge palace, museum, gardens, and fortress. I now have some great photos and a better appreciation for Islamic art and design. I am still curious to know how the Arabic rulers came to be in control of land so far from the Middle East.
I left Granada at 1pm. I knew there would be a lot of downhill but I didn’t think there would be so much uphill. The route directly south runs alongside the Sierra Nevada, a mountainous national park, and I was glad to not be cycling through it. I was heading towards Motril and the South Coast. Then I would head East to Adra.
Leaving Granada in the middle of the day meant I soaked my cap in water and prepared to battle the sun. i found a cycle path which ran parallel with the autopista and lead me out of the city. The morning went well as I joined the N340 and although there was a bit of climbing, the downhill parts were longer. There was some confusion as i reached a roundabout with no sign for the N340, so i continued until I reached a dam, and i knew i had gone the wrong way. having gone back, and climbed back up the hill, I crossed the roundabout again, to another roundabout and then found the N340 sign. having climbed up more slopes, i found signs saying the road ahead was “cut”. I was getting very frustrated and headed back, again wondering if my only option was the autopista. I asked a guy in a van, and he was so happy to help me. He told me “Autopista no!!! No puedes. Pero no lees las signas! puedes pasar! y va bajo bajo bajo! Yo no, en coche pero tu puedes! pasa pasa, y vas a bajo bajo bajo!”…. It was soft and in Andalusian accent, but I understood “Autopista No! You can’t! But don’t read the sign, you can pass it and go down down down! I can’t in a car, but you can! Pass pass and go down down down!”
Well I was still nervous about finding a dead end but I rode back up the hill again, and this time went past the sign. And it was a completely empty but perfectly good road. I went down, down, down very fast until I came to a part where the road had warped into a giant mound. Cars wouldn’t get past it, but I just got off the bike and walked over the mound with it.
Then there was just miles of downhill. Oddly the wind was so strong that I wasn’t going fast, and even with pedaling, I struggled to go over 20kph.
I arrived in Motril but it seemed industrial and not welcoming at all. A little further up the coast, I found a small beach resort and took my first photo of the sea since leaving Oporto. I had cycled all the way from London to the South coast of Spain. I silently celebrated by posting on twitter and having a calippo. I finished the day by cycling in the dark, to Adra. Mostly flat, but a bit scary in the dark, especially when I was chased by 2 dogs the owners had kindly allowed to wander in the street. I was relieved to arrive at Adra. I stopped at a bar in town to charge the phone so I could find the Hostal and Paola. The barman was impressed by my story and told me the beer was on the house. The Hostal was outside the town. It seems Adra’s hotels all closed. It was about 11pm when I reached the hostal and I wolfed down a pizza, and everything I could drink, before falling asleep very quickly.