Sunday in Cordoba. I practice the noble art of doing nothing for most of the day. I have a look at maps for the route ahead, update the blog, upload pictures.
I go out for some walks but the temperature is 30-31C in the shadow so the heat is intense. There is a massive amount of people out and about, most bars and restaurants are full, all the parks are full of people. No sign of La Crisis.
All the supermarkets are closed, even the little corner shop, maybe it’s some kind of local holiday or so.
I start as early as I can to enjoy the cool mornings. The first 10-12 km out of Cordoba and then along the N-IVa is horrible. Massive traffic and nowhere to bike except on the highway-like road. After this I am out in the quiet and nice country side again.
There are many, many cyclists out and about, strange given it’s Monday. Most of them seem very serious cyclists with carbon bikes and carbon wheels.
A man on a bike catches up with me and we start talking some strange mix of Spanish/French/English, he is very impressed with how long my bike tour is. It is a very hot day and before noon it’s well over 30C, the sun is shining. I find a nice menu del dia and get to spend an hour indoors in the cold dining room.
Towards the end of the day there is a 14% uphill to conquer. I am very tired when I finally get to Andujar.
The hotel I have set my sights on is on the outskirts of town, in some kind of industrial area. At first I don’t like it but when I see that there are several restaurants and a big supermarket just across the street I decide to like it more. When I get to park my bike in the Business Center I like it even more.
The breakfast buffet is fantastic and the morning is very cool at 14C. The ride to Linares is on some very dodgy via servico. At two underpasses I really start to wonder if there actually is a road to Linares except the highway.
It’s very hilly with many small up and down, the sun is blasting and before noon it’s 30C again.
It seems I was in the hottest place in Spain this day and temperature records were set. When I arrived in Linares I could not get any 3G network and find my hotels I had looked up, so I just stopped at the first hotel I could find.
When I saw it was 4 star I thought to my self that this will hurt. As it turned out it was very cheap, and I stayed two nights to have a day of rest tomorrow. I park my bike in their garage next to the owners (?) Rolls Royce and go to my room and turn up the A/C to max and have a small siesta to cool down.
Exclusive high performance vehicle and a Rolls.
Linares is an old mining town. I will explore it tomorrow.
I sleep late and go out to the supermarket and buy breakfast, there is a small fridge in my room so I can store stuff there for 2 days breakfast.
I walk around the area and have a look, it’s not very exciting so I go back to the hotel.
The bike was very dirty from riding the flooded underpass, so I decided to take a ride to a service station and spend one euro on cleaning of the worst.
I have had some doubts about the tension of my spokes, so I decide to take the bike to a local bike mechanic for a second opinion. He thinks they are perfect, I test some spokes on new bikes in his shop and they are like spaghetti. So I guess that my hand strength has increased or maybe it just is a long time since I built a wheel (August 2013).
The road ahead along the N-322 looks like it has partially been “improved” to Autovia A-32, I ask in the reception and the bike mechanic, there is no clear verdict on exactly where I can ride or not. I guess I will find out tomorrow.