Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 12 - Granja de Moreruela to Mombuey

The further north we travel the smaller the towns are becoming, last night we stayed in a village of 369 people. The only accomodation option available was the pilgrims refuge, otherwise known as an albergue. We had stayed in only one so far, but when a decent hotel is only 40euros with plenty of space to spread out we generally prefer the hotel option.

The accomodation was reasonable, but it should have twigged when eating lunch we could see all the locals chugging down beer and coffees with shots of alcohol in it. I should mention that all the locals were men in their 60s or older. Then the card games started pretty usual, then the arguing, as normal.

We had eaten a big lunch again, so a small dinner and early bed ready for the next day. Another Bicigrino or cyclist had arrived, Spanish guy who was very freindly and on his 4th camino. No English so Rishi did the talking.

As we went to bed the locals must have had enough of the card games and moved to the outside area of the bar next door which was also just outside the door to our room.

The noise got louder and louder until about 2am when the bar finally closed, including a few times when the guys wives came down to yell at them to come home.

Up at 6:30am we didn't feel very rested! After a quick breakfast we were off, but with a bit of cloud cover the sun was still not rising enough to give us any light, and it was almost 7:30 by the time we got right out into the middle of nowhere on the trails. So some slow riding to make sure we didn't miss any turnoffs for the next 30 mins.

Mostly open fire roads again today, we are in the estuary area of Spain, crossing lots of rivers.
Some of the trail was marked as not for bikes again, and didn't look very rideable skirting around the river.

Some of the roads seem endless, I can't imagine what that would look like if you were on foot.

Now that we have joined the other more popular routes signage is a lot better, every corner has a granite stone with a direction arrow, and every town has an information board.


Just outside of Santa Marta de Tera there were a few a Bodegas, and they still use the old cellars built into the hill you can see in the photos above.
The amount of vineyards in the region though is a lot less than the Castilla la Mancha region we rose through earlier in the trip.

Some of the nicest riding of the day was down by the rivers, nice hard packed loamy material and ever changing farmlands on the fertile river banks.

Arriving in Mombuey with 85k done for the day, we were not keen to stay in another Albergue again tonight. After finding a Hotel, having a average lunch, we walked into town past the Alberuge and found it was full!

Tomorrow is looking to be the Queen stage with a 1100m pass and a 1450m pass plus all the rolling hills to get there, we are keen to push on now to leave ourselves a shorter final day with only 4days remaining.


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