Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 8 - Toledo to San Martin de Valdeiglesias

First day of climbing ahead of us, the maps and profiles had us doing a couple of serious climbs but so far they had not been as bad as they had looked, so we hoped for the best!

We started out early again, with a fairly easy exit out of the main town of Toledo. A few tricky motorways to navigate around. We skipped some narrow tricky sections along the river and rejoined the track further out of town.

Soon enough we climbed high out of Toledo with some great views back to the city, still pretty dark at this stage.

Signage had been good until this point, however another route had also joined ours and at first there were two signs. To make it more confusing the route seemed to use the same coloured marking symbols as ours. Suddenly our route was not signed anymore, just the other one. A quick check of the maps and we seemed to be heading in right direction. We arrived in the next small town of only a few hundred people, We quickly navigated around town following the markers we having been following all trip, once we arrived the surroundings didnt match the map at all. After a bit of confusion, we remembered we finally got the iPhone working. A quick check on Google maps, and we had somehow turned then wrong way off the hill above town and arrived in the totally wrong town! After a good 15min descent down into town we were not keen to climb back out. A quick check of the route and we could skip the next village and take the bitumen to the next town.

In the end we only added 5k but lost about an hour stuffing around trying to figure it all out

The positive is the scenery was amazing, We passed some huge farm estates not too far our of Toledo

The net couple of sections were varying terrain and scenery again, we were still to arrive at the climbing for the day.

But we slowly got the task for the day in our sights!

Passing through more farms on the way we arrived at one to find our worst nightmare, a guard dog on the loose! A giant labrador was bearing down on us, with a huge bark we didn't want to risk getting too near to it so we gunned it for the direction we thought we had to go, shit, deep soft sand I almost stacked it and then the dog is right next to me barking like mad. He obviously wasn't going to bite but was doing a good job mashing his teeth and barking. Once we pass the house he stops and runs back. We the come upon a farmer who obviously works on the property after telling him his Perro is Loco, he tells us a) we are going the wrong we and we need to go back and b) the dog won't bite. We slowly ride back as far away from the house as possible.

We pass through Maquena a tiny village, and the arrive in Escalona a imposing old town with parts of the medieval walls and gates intact. Which meant a steep climb for us up into the town.

Arriving in the main square we can hear booming music playing out. We had already seen some sort of convoy of motorbikes but they this time had a Hummer with them towing giant speakers which they were playing music through.

Finally we started the climbing, we had already done close to 65k at this point. And the profile showed a gradual climb at first and then the really steep stuff. We had already decided to see how the first 5k goes which arrives us in a reasonable sized town that we could stay the night in. As the town we hoped to arrive in was a further 25k. Which would take us to 90k for the day.

We arrived in Almorox hot but the climbing wasn't too bad. We sat down for a which lunch (boccadillo with Jamon, chees and tomato) and a beer.

We felt good, and knew tomorrow would be really hard if we couldn't get the next 20k done today.

So we decided to push on.

The next 5k was ok, although slow going in the heat. Out in the sun it must have been getting close to 40degrees today. It was 38degrees in Toledo.

The tracks were slow going with lots of loose sandy climbs, followed by loose rocky descents with ruts.

But the heat was killing us, we could barely get 1k before we had to find a tree and cool down.

Then it got steeper, looking at the map we has hardly covered any distance and we had already been going for close to 2hrs. We had covered less than 10k.

So far we had only ever done 2.5hrs at the most for one stage. And in this heat we were gong through water fast. About 2.5hrs in we were hardly moving. We would ride from the shade of one tree to the next. Looking at the map we had a long way to go. And we had next to no water left.

Now we arrived at the steepest section on the profile. Looking at the map and the fresh earth, it looked to be rerouted, the trail sent us down a firebrake, which must have been close to 45degrees in gradient. Luckily there was a detour down a fireroad which we could take. Joining back up at the bottom I wished I had risked the descent now looking up at a 30% climb straight up the face of the hill!

Photos don't do these hills justice
We quickly found it appeared the old track was gone and instead they has built a firebreak straight over the mountain. So for the next 5k we rode and scooted down 25% slopes and the rode back up 25% slopes

Thinking it would never end we finally climbed for about 2k straight around every corner another ramp.

Finally we looked to flatten out, an the in the distance our destination.

After a quick descent we were right on the edge of town, and happened upon a water fountain we could cool off under.

All up 11hours on the trail today to ride 95km.

Cooling off under a bridge
We covered the first 70k in 7hours with navigation and breaks/lunch, but the last 25k ended up taking 4hrs!

Rishi powered up the hills again all day long, the only thing stopping her was the brutal heat!

The longest distance Rishi has ever covered, and hopefully the longest we will do on this trip. Getting the last leg in means we will only have to do around 60k tomorrow. Which is almost a rest day??

No comments:

Post a Comment