Day 156. Linares – Torreperogil, 42 km

I start the day with breakfast in the room. This is a very nice day, sunny and nice. The first 9 km, out of Linares and then on to N-322 is very messy with road works going on, they are in progress of “upgrading” the N-322 from nice road to highway.

Figure 1. Map day 156-159

After leaving N-322 I travel nice back roads, they are nice but even hillier.

Figure 2. N-322

I gain something like 500 meters of altitude the first 10 km so when I get to Ibros and find a park bench in the shadow under a three I take a well deserved break. Things are going slow today, uphill, headwind and hot like hell.

Figure 3. Ibros

In Baeza I find a Teberna with a table in the shadow, so I stop there and have a very nice lunch.

Table in the shadow
Figure 4. Table in the shadow
Nice lunch
Figure 5. Nice lunch

When I arrive in Torreperogil I feel exhausted, I don’t feel like going another +20 km for the next possible accommodation. So I call it a day after only 43 km. The reception is at the bar desk and I get to park my bike in the yard in the back of the pension.

Bike parking
Figure 6. Bike parking

One from the staff and some volunteers help me carry my bags up to the room.

Figure 7. Casablanca

The place is very new and nice. I celebrate by turning the A/C on max and sleep some siesta to cool down.

Later I take a walk around the village, it’s all quiet and nice. When I go down for dinner at 21 I discover that the bar/cafeteria of the place I am staying in seems to be the watering hole for local law enforcement, several Guardia Civil and Policia Local units are there. As usual in Spain, I am the first for dinner and have to wait for the lights to be turned on and with them also the TV. Very nice dinner.

Day 157. Torreperogil – Puente de Genave, 66 km

I slept with the A/C running all night, it was tropical heat, 20C already before 8 in the morning. I have some breakfast at the bar, some locals arrive in jeeps and 4×4 and have their first stiff brandy of the day.

Grey day
Figure 8. Grey day

The day is very, very gray. Just as I pack my bike up and start to leave the happy folks from local law enforcement arrive and joins the crowd in the bar.

Grey day
Figure 9. Grey day

The road follows sort of a ridge so the first 20 km is relative fast. Once the road comes down to a bit lower altitude the temperature increases. My friends the farmers helps to keep the speed down, they travel between fields with their tractors at 25 km/h and the rest of the world just has to adjust.

My friends
Figure 10. My friends

Towards the end of the day there are many long downhills, my brakes started to fade a bit and when I checked the GPS later I had gone faster than 55 km/h down those hills. I find a restaurant with a nice menu del dia, it’s really cold inside so it’s fantastic to sit down and eat for a while.

Cool place
Figure 11. Cool place
Figure 12. Starter
Figure 13. Main
Figure 14. Dessert

I continue to ride, the temperature in the afternoon is well over 30C, I bring out my new speaker and play some music.

Boooom Boooooom
Figure 15. Boooom Boooooom

I have a strong tailwind, I can bike at 35 km/h when it’s flat.

The hotel I find is for some reason expensive, maybe because it’s next to a nature reserve, the hotel and the interior is very dated. I take a walk around the village and do some shopping in the supermarket. Very nice little village.

Dated hotel
Figure 16. Dated hotel

I had an amazing dinner at the hotel, it was truly amazing and less than 10 Euro. The last couple of days it seems like I have been traveling through olive headquarters, there are olive trees everywhere. The olives they serve as tapas with drinks here are so delicious, the local olive oil is beyond fantastic. I think that I will not be able to eat any olives again after leaving this region or possibly Spain.

Green gold
Figure 17. Green gold

This is my last night in Andalusia, my home away from home during the last 5 months or so. Tomorrow waits uphills and Castilla-La Mancha.

Day 158. Puente de Genave – Alcaraz, 52 km

The morning is chilly and a bit gray, the day starts with a 15 km uphill.

Figure 18. Andalucia

This is my last day in Andalucia, the sun is strong but the winds are chilly. The scenery is stunning and I have to stop and take pictures frequently.

Taking pictures
Figure 19. Taking pictures

As the day progress the temperature rise and also the intensity of the traffic, there are big clouds on the sky behind the mountains and I hurry up.

Figure 20. Scenery

I have decided to stop in Alcaraz, the next town with accommodation is to far away and also behind a high pass.

There is a hostal down by the road, it doesn’t look great and reviews on the Internet are not good either. I decide to go for the hostal in village and have to push the bike up a very, very steep hill. Once up there is a small village and at the end of it I find my hostal.

Narrow streets
Figure 21. Narrow streets

The price is right, I get to park my bike on the balcony, I decide to stay two nights and have a day of rest tomorrow. I rush to the supermarket but it’s already closed. I have to settle for a small corner shop, just the basics to survive a Sunday. I return to the Hostal and do some laundry and hang it on the balcony and have a small siesta.

Proper parking
Figure 22. Proper parking

When I went shopping I found the tourist information, I went inside to see what they had to offer, I found out that there is a Via Verde along an old railroad going from Alcaraz to Albacete. This sounds almost to good to be true but they had maps and folders with information. The clouds I saw earlier today have now grown and covers the whole sky, which is pitch black. A good time to go to sleep.

Day 159. Alcaraz – Alcaraz, 0 km

I slept very well and woke up late. There is no breakfast in the hostal so I eat some of the stuff I managed to buy yesterday. I do some more laundry, it looks like perfect weather to dry laundry in.

I go for a walk up to the ruins. I thought the hostal was on the top of the village but it as it turns out there is a steep walk up to the ruins. The view is magnificent.

I spend some time looking at the route after Albacete, I have a challenge in getting down to the coast again without going in to Valencia. I don’t want to ride through a big city like Valencia, but there are very few options, I hope I will find the right one.

Nothing much to do in Alcaraz on Sundays so I spend the evening in my room.