Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day Five- La Roda to Mota del Cuervo

Today we followed the Ruta de Don Quijote through Castilla la Mancha. Thankfully we had left behind the boring flat farm plains of Albacete and passed into the province of Cuenca. A welcome change! Back to the beautiful views and ever changing scenery.

First light, the best part of the day
Sunflowers basking in the early morning sun

Minaya cathedral
We passed through many small towns today. Each very beautiful, but my favourite had to be San Clemente! I wish we could have stayed the night, but it was too early on in the day for us.

San Clemente cathedral
After San Clemente we passed though lots of vineyards and olive groves. Yes, we are in wine country!!!

Through the olive groves

Through the vineyards

Heavy with fruit
A special treat today was getting to see Santiago de la Torre, a property that once belonged to the Order of Santiago but today is an abandoned village, complete with a castle! In its day it was used to defend the nearby river pass. It was amazing to see such an incredible village and totally empty.

Abandoned town

Today was pretty tough. We ended up doing 90km. The last 20 took us 3 hours! Not because to terrain was difficult, but because it was so hot and I was suffering badly. Each day brings with its a new pain.... Yesterday I managed to sprain my intercostal muscles (rib cage) so it hurts when I breathe in. Today my toes were numb and my eyes were burning. At least the time has finally come when Ben has said his legs hurt! Up till now he has said the distances were easy for him and he has not even been stretching! I told him that for him to understand how I feel it would be like him doing a 500km race every day for a week. It's difficult riding with someone much fitter than you, but most of the time we stick together and make a really good team. It's only towards the end of the day when I overheat and fatigue that I get left behind. I always know that I can cheer Ben up with his favourite food....magdalenas. I think we will have to start making them when we get home.

Magdelana time
Even though it is tough we are having so much fun. We are looking at reassessing our route plan to try and average 80km a day and get rid of the big days as they take their toll on me. We are also going to try starting in the dark as the heat plays a big factor in my fatigue. We are now in the very cute town of Mota del Cuervo in a lovely hotel run by a very kind lady who was very concerned when she opened the door and saw me. It's siesta at the moment and like a ghost town, but in about an hour we plan to head out and seek out the nearest bar for a Tinto de Verano :) the trail goes on!


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