Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 6 - Mota del Cuervo to Tembleque

After another hard day in the hot sun yesterday we were dreading another day in the messeta. Again the terrain looked flat through farmlands but we knew again we would be out in the open all day.

We had a fairly quiet night with not much happening in the town. Being right in the middle of a major wine region there are a lot of immigrants in the town, this particular town had mostly eastern europeans, Polish & Bulgarians. Sitting in the square during the evening one side sat the immigrants, the other side sat the Spanish locals.

We decided to leave slightly earlier again, to try and beat the heat. Not long after starting we had to stop and get out some warmer clothes. The mornings had been getting colder as we had gotten further north, down to about 14degrees up until now, but this morning a wind had picked up which was cool enough for a wind vest.

We spent most of the day riding through the vineyard and olive groves again, mostly flat and mostly fast roads with the occasional slow sandy section or rutted rocky section. The soil is starting to vary more often, the past 2 days was all dry and rocky. It was now constantly changing from rocky to sandy to bright red clay which made things a little more interesting visually.

The wind really started to pick up, mostly head wind and sometimes kicking around to a crosswind, which is hard work with panniers on the back, and a massive handlebar bag on the front of my bike.

We ticked over the k's fairly quickly early in the morning, with navigation fairly straight forward.

We passed through El Toboso a nice little town and Quintanar de la orden much larger, and a pain again to navigate out of.

El Toboso
Topping up our sunscreen in Villacanas a guy in a car pulls up to say hello, we quickly find out he is a keen road cyclist and owns a bike shop in town. He was keen to hear our plans and wanted to know if we needed any help with bike maintenance! We thanked him for the offer, but thankfully the bikes are only dusty but running great! He also told us that the wind is typical to that region and a pain for cyclists!

Leaving Villacanas the map showed 29.1k mostly following the highway on farming roads. Having only done around 40k so far we were looking forward to a 70k day.

Heading towards Tembleque
Windmills in the distance
Heading west on the road parallel to the highway suddenly the track veered towards the ranges to the north, with no other track to take and new farmland between us and the highway, we veered off thinking it must be another rerouting. Continuing on we pass under some power lines which are on the map, but over 2k further past the track we are supposed to be on, we are now in the foothills of the ranges, looking down at the flat motorway in the valley which we are meant to be following. We are still following the direction arrows at this point so we know we are on the trail, it just doesn't match our map!


We see a town on the horizon, it looks a fair way off still. We then see it is a beautiful hill top town surrounded by traditional old windmills, but we couldn't be going there because the map just doesn't make sense. Again we hit farmlands and we turn again, this time back south, we are travelling away from the town we could see and heading down the range towards another. We climb straight up the range cresting it to see another town and again we see the motorway we were meant to be following.

Finally we arrived in Tembleque, In the end we rode closer to 80k, happy to arrive we are staying at one of the only hotels in town. Which happens to be a fairly nice 3 star place.

The town is amazing, with one of the oldest original remaining town squares in Spain. The massive cathedral is under well needed renovations. The rest of the town includes a lot of original buildings and houses with new houses being built in similar styles.

Tomorrow we will arrive in Toledo, one of the biggest towns of the journey, and one of the most touristed towns of the region. Then we leave the flat messeta behind and start with a couple of harder stages into Avila which will include a lot more climbing


Primeros - First course for lunch

Main square in Tembleque
Entry to the main square
Old palace in Tembleque

No comments:

Post a Comment