See the section for Spain
of the Trento Bike Pages
A Tour of Spain
By Raj Subramani (email@example.com)
at Newcastle, England, 19 May 1995
If there is one single thing that made our trip
to Spain worthwhile then it was the people. To
put it simply they are the tops. Maybe because
of the contrast from what we were used to, I
do not know, but they do come across as warm,
friendly, easy going people. This is especially
true of small Spanish villages where everyday seems
like a Sunday.
People seemed very patient with our attempts at
Spanish and do try to figure out why you are
gesticulating so wildly. Biking and especially
touring seem to evoke a lot of curiosity and we
did get a lot of encouragement.
For all the negative feedback we got before we
left about Spanish drivers, I think they were
absolutely super. They would never attempt to
overtake you on the same side of the road. If the
road is not free (due to traffic or due to blind
turns) I found that they rather trudge behind you,
wait till its all clear and overtake on the other
side of the road (this also include 20 tonners).
Usually you get a warning hoot from a vehicle that
is following you which means that its about to
overtake you. 3 or 4 consecutive hoots means a
thumbs-up sign or something that meant "keep up the
Their easy going attitude also unfortunately extends
to the disposal of waste so don't get too disconcerted
if you come across the occasional fridge-freezer or
Two of us were vegetarians. This fortunately did not
turn out to be much of a problem. Our lunches
comprised mostly of baguettes and cheese, fruits,
juice, chocolates, cakes, coffee etc. Dinners were
Pasta wit Cheese, rice with veg. sauce, soups and
later mostly of Bocardillo (two ll in Spanish is a
y so it is pronounced as Bocariyyo) with Tortilla
Francesa (the usual omelette) or Tortilla Espana
(omelette with potatoes) and plenty of Salad.
If you eat meat and/or sea food, well, its paradise
Food is cheap (I am comparing it with here in
Britain), a whole variety of fruits and vegetables
(and fresh). I really loved what they called Zumo
de Melocoton (peach juice). Bread and cheese
were cheap too. We used to spend on average something
like 4000 ptas. to 4500 ptas. on food and drinks a
day and they was plenty of it (for the three of us).
Finally excellent wines & cognac at very good prices.
Well lets say its hot, damn hot!!. However it gets
very cool & pleasant in the north (the Pyrenees). We
are after all talking about August/September here.
(Our exchange rate was approx. 200 pesetas to a pound).
Cost could vary according to your choice. If you
really want to skimp you could get by on 10 pounds
(sterling) a day. But 15 should be more than adequate.
At 20 pounds a day, you are talking luxury.
The camping rates were 450 ptas. per tent and 450
ptas. per person. We had a three man tent so it
worked out to 1800 ptas. total on average. There
are a few campsites that maybe more expensive
(I can think of only one, the one at Ainsa, which
charged something like 2700 ptas.).
Youth hostels were about 1000 ptas. per person per
night. Valencia was a bit more expensive (1400 ptas.).
Pension and hostel prices varied but even the most
expensive one we stayed at worked out to a total of
5000 ptas. for all three of us. The average would be
around 1200 to 1500 ptas. per person, here.
Campsites more often than not are adequate as they
come equipped with all mod. cons. However once in
a while the desire to sleep in a proper bed can be
Finally, we found that youth hostels particularly
in small towns are not reliable (two of them turned
out to be closed when the guide said they should be
If you are starting at a big city it maybe advisable
to stay there for a day or alternatively try and get
your hands on the Camping map issued by the tourist
office at the earliest opportunity. It was one of the
most useful maps we could have had.
Try and buy the local Youth Hostel map from the nearest
youth hostel as it is on a much larger scale, more
detailed, and much more accurate (as far as locations
are concerned) compared to the one you get from the
International Youth Hostel guide book.
Try and get your hand on the Michelin maps for the
regions your are touring/plan to tour as they are very
much more detailed and give you an option of getting
off the big "N" (national) roads where traffic is
heavy and riding is not particularly pleasant.
Make sure that your insurance covers your bike as
well. It maybe worth paying the extra bit to get it
covered against damage and/or theft.
Most important of all if you can speak Spanish (even
just enough to get by) you'd enjoy it much more than
Tent - inners, outers, tent-poles, tent pegs.
If you are using aluminium pegs it would be worthwhile
carrying one steel peg (or a steel rod, say about 10mm
in diameter and about 8-10 inches long). A lot of
Spanish campsites have very hard grounds and if you try
Aluminium pegs they will bend and distort. You could
always borrow a hammer from the friendly Spanish neighbour
or use a rock.
Tools - A grip, Two flat spanners, Set of Allen keys,
chain splitter, pedal extractor, screw driver (with inter-
changeable ends), spare tubes, spare brake and derailleur
cables, spoke key.
Things worth having which we did not have are a spanner
to remove the free-wheel, spanner, spare spokes
(which we bought a lot of in Spain), a socket spanner
that would be used to adjust the pedals (they develop
play and start clicking).
Utensils - A camping set consisting of 2 pots and a pan
with a lid and a handle to lift them of the stove (all
aluminium). A stove (petrol) for cooking with its
associated tools (to check for the nuts and seals etc).
Cutlery - Plates, bowls, cups, knives, forks, spoons (all
plastic). Pen knives (Swiss Army kind for opening cans
etc). We broke all the plastic knives, forks and spoons
(they break under pressure). It would have been better to
carry Aluminium spoons and forks.
Toiletries - Toothpaste, Washing-up liquid, Sponge, Toilet
paper, Sun-tan lotion, Cream to protect lips against
sun and wind burn.
First-Aid - Plaster, Sterile wipes, Cotton, Antiseptic cream,
Band-Aids, Puritabs (tablets to purify water), Gauze,
Misc. items - Torch (to hang inside the tent), pocket torch
(to use while getting around at night), string (to hang
clothes for drying), Electricians tape, Heavy Duty tape,
Masking tape. YHA International Guide book, Map of Spain,
Rough Guide to Spain, Camera, Films, Salt and Pepper (in
boxes used to store films), odometer (for the bike),
dictionary and phrase book (English-Spanish and vice-versa).
Clothes - Cycling shorts, shorts, Track bottoms, Jumper,
Tee-shirts (3), Socks (2 pairs), Under-clothes (2 sets),
Trainers (or cycling shoes), Waterproof, Cycling Gloves,
a towel (medium sized). NOTE: Nylons are better for drying.
Toiletries - Toothbrush, comb, Bar of soap (also used for
washing clothes and shaving), a razor.
Misc. - A sleeping bag. a Karrimat (or a ground sheet),
Sunglasses, (a spare specs., as I have glasses),
log book, a pen, some hand tissues (to wipe the glasses).
Bottle (with bottle rack on the cycle). A spare bottle
(about 1 litre cap.) inside the panier. NOTE: You'll need
to carry at least 2 litres of water. You can either have
two bottle racks fitted onto the bike or as suggested above
carry a spare bottle in the panier (most touring bikes come
with 2 bottle racks anyway). At leat 3 or 4 empty
carry-bags (the plastic bags that you get to carry stuff
away from Supermarkets).
Communal gear weighed around 3.5 to 4 kg per person. Personal gear
weighed just about the same (or maybe just over when you include
2 litres of water). On the whole total gear weight per person was
below 10 kg. and believe me this didn't happen by accident. We all
had paniers in the back and a rucksack, almost empty, on top of the
carrier strapped in place by a bungee cord. A conscientious decision
was taken not to carry any additional paniers than those above.
Anything that did not fit in these turned out to be something we never
needed. The empty rucksack came in handy while shopping at places.
The empty carry-bags were useful to keep wet clothes in and dried them
as we went along.
The total distance done in a day maybe more than the actual distance
added up from place to place as there was a lot of searching and
looking done at various points during the day. The road number and the
approximate distance between the 2 points is given in brackets
(whenever possible) and the peaks of the climbs whenever applicable.
A few comments are given and then an overall summary is provided (if
Abbreviations & Notations used:
- Total Distance done during that day in Kilometres.
- Average Speed in Kilometres per hour.
- Maximum Speed in Kilometres per hour.
- >> <<
- Indicate big climbs, the peaks of which is given
in metres above sea level.
Day 1 (Monday 30th August 1993) : Alicante - Denia.
The last stretch from Altea to Denia involves some steady climbing.
We never wanted to do so much in the first day as we hadn't
slept in the last 36 hours. This was principally because we
relied too much on the YHA map (that come along with the Guide
book). The N-332 is a very busy coastal road and places like
Benidorm with high rise appartments are not particularly
pleasing to look at.
- Alicante - La Villa Joisa (N-332, 35kms).
Stopped at Alicante and shopped at the SuperMarket (SuperM)
- La Villa Joisa - Benidorm (N-332, 10kms).
- Benidorm - Altea (N-332, 10kms).
Took a break from the afternoon sun at a beach.
Had a minor problem (my chain snapped) so had to re-link
using the chain splitter.
- Altea - Ondara (N-332, 38 kms).
- Ondara - Denia (C-something, 8 kms).
This is where the YHA Map failed. The map shows cities
in completely wrong positions. We had to head to Denia
where there was a campsite.
Day 2 (Tuesday 31st August 1993): Denia - Valencia.
Dist: 110.57 kms, AvS: 21.2 kmph, MxS: 34.5 kmph
- Denia - Oliva (N-332, 23 kms).
- Oliva - Gandia ((N-332, 8kms).
Stopped at Gandia for lunch. Shopped at SuperM for
food. Good city centre at Gandia to sit and eat.
- Gandia - Sueca (N-332, 25kms).
- Sueca - Valencia (N-332, 40kms).
The terrain was pretty flat all day. The roads were again
busy. Got used to the smell of exhaust fumes and dead dogs
on the road. At Valencia found the tourist info. centre at
6:30pm. They spoke English and French. Directed us to the
Youth Hostel. The Info. centre is not sign posted properly
so had to ask at a Hotel for it. Also got the camping map
for Spain with all campsites marked with the class given
in the reverse.
Day 3 (Wednesday 1st September 1993): Valencia - Orpesa.
Dist: 110 kms
- Valencia - Sagunto (N-332, 19kms).
Had some breakfast there. Good town centre there to
sit and have a meal.
- Sagunto - Nules (N-332, 23kms).
- Nules - Castellon de la Plana (C-236, 17kms).
Had lunch in what first looked like a nice park
at Castellon. But as the afternoon wore the park
got seedier and so left. Be watchful (esp. against
theft here). From here decided that we had enough
of the coast and decided to head off inland to
Cabanes where the map said was a campsite.
- Castellon de la Plana - Cabanes (C-238, 25kms, >> <<
At Cabanes we found the the nearest campsite was
in fact at Orpesa along the coast (and downhill
all the way after a short climb). First went to
see the Roman Arch which was about 3 kms from
- Cabanes - Orpesa (12kms).
The terrain remained flat except from Castellon when
we decided to leave the coast. However we had to return
back to the coast in the evening. The campsite was by the
sea so could even have a swim. There was a SuperM where
we shopped for our evening dinner.
Day 4 (Thursday 2nd September 1993): Orpesa - Morella.
Dist: 100kms, MxS: 57kmph
- Orpesa - Cabanes (12kms)
Climbed all the way up again. Determined to leave
the coast for good.
- Cabanes - Les Coves de Vinroma (C-238, 23kms).
Had lunch here after shopping at a SuperM (nice
friendly folks). One bike with broken spoke. Did
not carry any spare and local bike shop hadn't any.
(The chap tried his best to help though).
- Les Coves de Vinroma - San Mateu del Maestrat (C-238,
No luck (for spare spokes here).
- San Mateu - Morella (C- 238, 39kms, >> << 784m)
The climb is quite steady from San Mateu.
After the peak its easy going to Morella.
But the town itself is situated inside a fort
and the last bit involves some very steep
Morella had no campsite. There was a rudimentary site.
Fortunately there was a tap nearby as there was some
construction work going on near this site. Went into town to
buy food. The town centre is very nice.
There is a good bakery in town. Do not miss there croissants
in the morning (esp. the chocolate ones!!). On the whole
a lovely place (except for a few modern structures that seem
to spoil the beauty of the old fortress).
Day 5 (Friday 3rd September 1993) : Morella - Caspe
Dist: 124.2 kms, AvS: 20.4 kmph, MxS: 50.5 kmph
- Morella - Monoroyo (N-232, 33kms, >> << 1250m)
Stopped at Monoroyo for lunch.
- Monoroyo - Alcaniz (N-232, 37 kms)
Bought spare spokes for the bikes at Alcaniz.
(Reached at 3 pm but had to wait till 4pm when
the shop opened).
Good city centre with a very large and old church.
- Alcaniz - Caspe (N-232, 29 + 14 = 43kms)
This route follows a very dry and arid landscape.
Almost like a place where you might shoot a spaghetti
western. The campsite is 14 kms from Caspe town.
Bought food at town (to cook at campsite). Campsite
situated by a lake and quite nice.
Terrain mostly flat or downhill. By evening I guess we were
all properly qualified as "stinky bicyclist" as our last
shower was two days ago at the Orpesa campsite. I was glad
that the others did not run out when we entered the SuperM
to shop for stuff.
Day 6 (Saturday 4th September 1993) : Caspe - Balaguer
Dist: 121.77, AvS: 22.1 kmph, MxS: 55.5 kmph
- Caspe - Mequinenza (C-231, 22kms)
Stopped there to fill our water bottles. The terrain
is full of ups and downs but no major climbs. There
is a campsite here which was not mentioned in any of
the maps (neither in the camping map of Spain).
- Mequinenza - Masalcorreig (C-231, 15kms)
Stopped there for some eats. Met an inquisitive
gentleman who asked where we were going. Offered
us fruits (which presumably he grows in his backyard).
We must have looked a pathetic site!!.
- Masalcorreig - Fraga (C-231, N-11, 7kms)
- Fraga - Lleida (N-11, 31kms)
The road out of Fraga climbs steadily out. It was
hot (very hot!!) when we left Fraga and found some
respite at a fruit shop (strategically situated at the
top). Lunch at Lleida.
- Lleida - Balaguer (24+8 = 32kms)
The campsite at Balaguer is 8 kms away from town.
The man who runs it was very helpful (re. route
we must take into the Pyrenees etc.).
The campsite at Balaguer passes through a lot of fruit
plantations and is situated at quite a nice spot.
The restaurant was quite full that night, obviously a
popular place for the locals.
Day 7 (Sunday 5th September 1993) : Balaguer - Baro
Dist: 86.42kms, AvS: 20.8kmph, MxS: 57kmph
- Balaguer - Tremp (C-147, 55kms, >> << 912m)
Pass through two tunnels on this route, both unlit
but short so did not cause any problems. Being Sunday
there were plenty of Motorbikes on the road. Stopped
at a restaurant for lunch. Passes through some
spectacular rocks (full of climbers, being Sunday)
not to be missed. 5kms of unfinished roads before
Tremp but guess it will get done shortly.
- Tremp - Baro (C-147, 31kms)
Actually wanted to head to Sort but decided to stop
at Baro. Good campsite by the side of a river.
Good bars nearby for beers. Tried Spanish coffee
(which is more like Irish coffee), has coffee with
whisky and cream on top.
The route from Balaguer to Baro is quite spectacular.
Especially impressive are the massive rocks the wall
either sides of the road. Tremp-Baro route follows a
valley, along a river and is fairly flat.
Day 8 (Monday 6th September 1993) : Baro - Arties
Dist: 83.81kms, AvS 18.6kmph, MxS: 51kmph
- Baro - Sort (C-147, 8kms)
Good pastry shop at Sort (full of sticky, gooey
stuff!!). Cashed some Travellers cheques and posted
a few cards.
- Sort - Rialb de Noguera (C-142, 4kms)
Stopped here and shopped for some fruit, bread etc.
Met at old gentleman outside the shop who looked at
us, the bikes and the smiled pointing up-up (obviously
telling us daft idiots what to expect, magic
- Rialb de Noguera - Valencia d'Aneu (C-142, 31kms, >> <<
Stopped a few kilometres out of Rialb to eat. Plenty
of blackberry bushes with berries on them on the road
side. At Valencia d'Aneu stopped at a Cafe for eats.
Got served some very strong Spanish cheese.
- Valencia d'Aneu - Pto. de Bonaigua (C-142, 7kms,
This was the highest climb we were to do. Really long
and winding road to the top that goes on forever. But
the valleys are quite spectacular to look at. Not to
- Pto. de Bonaigua - Salardu (C-142, 26kms)
- Salardu - Arties (C-142, 6kms)
The road climbs down to from Pto. de Bonaigua but there are a
few smaller climbs that go up and down after that up to Arties
(smaller when compared to 2070 maybe). At Arties could not
find a petrol (or Gas) station so had to settle for a cold
meal. Of course it may not be amusing carrying petrol upto
2070m anyway. The real climb to Pto. de Bonaigua begins after
that Cafe at 1500m.
Another thing I must mention here is the scenery including the
type of houses that you see as you come down from Pto. de
Bonaigua towards Salardu. It all looks very "alpine" and very
different from the rest of Spain.
Day 9 (Tuesday 7th September 1993) : Arties - Ainsa
Dist: 127.59kms, AvS: 21.5kmph, MxS:51.5kmph, Time: 5h35m
- Arties - Viella (C-142, 8kms)
Its a steady climb to Viella
- Viella - Vilaller (N-230, 23kms)
Passed through a 5kms long tunnel. The first 4kms
is a climb, inside. The weather was alright when we
went in but was misty and wet when we came out.
(Probably went through a time warp and landed in
- Vilaller - Castejon de Sos (N-230/C-144, 34kms, >> <<
1407m, >> << 1470m)
The road first climbs upto 1407m and then drops.
The 2nd climb goes to 1470m. Had lunch at Castejon
- Castejon de Sos - Campo (C-139, 21kms)
The sections follows a valley.
- Campo - Ainsa (C-140, 32+3=35kms)
Shopped at local SuperM for food. Campsite is almost
3kms away (though it says 1km).
The passage through the tunnel (5km one) was an experience in
itself. Had to use wetted handkerchiefs as pollution masks. We
did not carry lights so used the two torches (on the trailing
bike) to indicate our presence. But Spanish drivers are very
considerate. One guy even honked and gave us the thumbs-up
sign. The valley between Castejon de Sos & Campo goes through
a gorge with huge imposing rocks on either sides, really
Day 10 (Wednesday 8th September 1993) : Ainsa - Jaca
- Ainsa - Boltana (N-260, 9kms)
A few broken spokes and a puncture, but all under
- Boltana - Broto (N-260, 30kms)
- Broto - Biescas (C-140, 26kms, >> <<1215m, >> <<
- Biescas - Jaca (C-140, 30kms)
The 1423m climb ends with a tunnel. The road after that
continuously rises and falls. Stayed at the Youth Hostel
at Jaca, quite a good one too. Jaca seems like a nice city
with a very good tourist information centre (spoke French
other than Spanish). At Jaca had to make a policy decision
on whether to head westwards to the Picos or to head back
South again. The cost of heading West were quite high (would
have had to get the train back and was working out to over
100 pounds). So decided to head southwards.
Day 11 (Thursday 9th September 1993) : Jaca - Sanguesa
Dist: 85.6kms, AvS: 22.4kmph, MxS: 52.5kmph, Time:3h48m
- Jaca - Yesa (C-134/N-240, 66kms)
This was a long stretch that we did almost non-stop.
The terrain was almost flat, just a few rise and
falls. We passed a large river which but for a small
patch of water was largely dry and looked very much
like a desert.
- Yesa - Sanguesa (C-127, 11kms)
Yesa was really the end of the Pyrenees and almost
the end of our journey westwards. It was decision time
now, whether to head Westwards or go down South. The
decision to head south was made and we left for
Once could almost sense a touch of disappointment in the air.
Probably a mixture of having to leave the Pyrenees and not
being able to continue westwards. But Sanguesa lifted our
spirits to no end. It was an excellent campsite (almost
empty except for 2 other tents). The town (we went there
to shop at the SuperM was bubbling with activity. A fiesta
was to be held there shortly I guess and preparations were
on). The bar at the campsite was good and spirits lifted
our spirits and we even laughed!.
Day 12 (Friday 10th September 1993) : Sanguesa - Borja
Dist: 146.0kms, AvS: 23kmph, MxS: 53kmph, Time:6h20m
- Sanguesa - Sos del Rey Catolico (C-127, 17kms)
- Sos del Rey Catolico - Sadaba (C-127, 25kms, >> <<
Just after Sos there is a climb to Pto. de Sos.
At the top one can look back and see the peaks
of the Pyrenees stretch far and wide, bid adios
- Sadaba - Ejea de los Caballeros (C-127, 26kms)
- Ejea - Tauste (C-127, 26kms)
- Tauste - Borja (C-127/N-122, 28kms)
From Sadaba to Ejea and then onto Tauste is flat and we
finished that by afternoon (it was still cool) and the
landscape was still green. From Tauste onwards it was
quite dry uneventful surroundings and got very hot. The
original intention was to make it to somewhere like Ricla.
But at Magallon (22kms from Tauste) we stopped (out of
curiosity) to examine some holes or caves with on a hill with
doors on them, under a church. Presumably used by monks or
hermits (long since abandoned). A quick check of the YHA
guide told us that there was a Youth Hostel at Borja (open
in September) which was just 6kms away.
Borja itself has a lovely town centre. We were told that the
YH was 4kms from there on the top of a hill. Climbed up there
only to find it locked. No one knew who the caretaker was
(there was a wedding in a church nearby) and the time was now
7 pm. The only option was to go back and hope that we find
some place for the night in Borja (which we did). They even
let us keep our bikes in our room. We did have a nice night
out in Borja but the fact remained that YH guides
were NOT to be trusted.
The total distance from Sanguesa to Borja was between 122 to
129 kms but we had to do another 17kms inside this town thanks
to the YHA.
Day 13 (Saturday 11th September 1993) : Borja - Nuevalos
Dist: 113.43kms, AvS: 19.9kmph, MxS: 54.5kmph, Time: 5h42m
- Borja - Tabuenca (Z-322, 15kms)
Though terrain full of ups and downs, the scenery is
good and the road was very very quiet.
- Tabuenca - Illueca (Z-322, 28kms, >> << 902m)
Its a lovely view at the top at Pto. de la Chavola.
- Illueca - Savinan (Z-322, 16kms)
- Savinan - Calatayud (Z-322, 20kms)
Small road that passes through very narrow sections,
through a valley.
Stopped at Calatayud for a coffee and decided to head
to Nuevalos (a better "classed" campsite).
- Calatayud - Nuevalos (C-202, 25kms)
The road initially flat then gradually but continuously
rises towards Nuevalos (also started experiencing
The section between Savinan and Calatayud is quite
fascinating. The road continues along a valley, the hill on
both sides being quite barren. However there a green belt
of fruit plantations all along the valley (well irrigated)
creating a sharp contrast. The road is narrow and winding.
It sometimes disappears straight into a wall making it a
guessing game as to where it would go from there. It almost
runs parallel to a railway line along this stretch and ends
with a climb that descends into Calatayud.
Day 14 (Sunday 12th September 1993) : Nuevalos - Orea
Dist: 112.28kms, AvS: 16.7kmph, MxS: 40kmph, Time:6h42m
- Nuevalos - Molina de Aragon (C-202, 47kms)
Passed the Monasterio de Piedra just after Nuevalos.
The road climbs straight up after Nuevalos and then
flattens at the top. Winds were gusting upto 40mph
breaking momentum completely and making life hard.
We did not buy food at Nuevalos and being Sunday
(realized it too late) and shop being closed had
only some cheese left which we feasted on. But there
was still 30 odd kms to go. The water we took from the
campsite tasted something like lube oil. We reached
a village on the way where we at least got good water.
We had some (dry) pasta left and were left to eating
that till Molina. I still have some of that pasta
in my Bum-bag as a sign of gratitude!.
- Molina de Aragon - Terzaga (C-202, 22kms)
Big lunch at Molina, made us feel almost human again.
Stocked up with cakes and chocolate and headed off.
- Terzaga - Checa (C-202, 20kms)
Two climbs on the way but were sheltered from the winds
by the hills and the trees so the going got better.
- Checa - Orea (C-202, 9+6 = 15kms)
It was 8pm when we reached Orea and the YH was 6kms
away from town. Had supper there first and set off
to the YH at about 8:30pm. It started getting
progressively darker and we started going deeper into
the Pine forest at this point. Finally we could see
some lights in the distance (turned out to be a
campsite). The YH was 200m away and was CLOSED
again!!, though the guide book said it should be open.
So went back to the campsite. Wondered what would
we have done if there wasn't a campsite nearby. Pitched
our tent at about 9:45 pm.
The winds were really bad today. The run to Molina involves
a good climb to the top where it was flat and barren so there
was nothing to break the wind which hit us straight head on.
The average speed was therefore quite slow (as low as 12-15
kmph) for this entire 47 km run. It was quite a cold night
and a very cold morning. We were told that this was quite
unusual for this time of the year.
Day 15 (Monday 13th September 1993) : Orea - Mariana
Dist: 107.42kms, AvS: 21kmph, MxS: 59kmph, Time:5h08m
- Orea - Greigos (TE-902, 28kms >> << 1650m)
Route goes through a Pine forest and is quite
nice. It was so cold that one had to put socks
on the hands (as mittens).
- Greigos - Guadalaviar (6kms)
The winds were strong today again and this stretch
was open so had to struggle a bit.
- Guadalaviar - Una (39kms, >> << 1790m)
The climb to 1790m is called El Portillo and is
one of the steepest climbs that we had experienced
in Spain. The road here make no pretence of winding
and goes straight up, highly recommended for
Before Una we had a small accident in which I ploughed
into the bike in front of me and laid sprawled across
the road. Fortunately no severe damage occurred to the
bikes or to me (lets get our priorities right here),
one broken spoke quickly replaced and just a few
bruises to justify taking our first-aid kit.
Had a delayed lunch (or bite) at Una.
- Una - Villalba El Salto del la Sierra (CU-921, 14kms)
There is a short climb after Una with a large
descent into Villalba.
- Villalba - Mariana (CU-921, 15kms)
Spotted a campsite at Mariana and stopped there
(instead of heading to Cuenca acc. to the original
The ride through the Sierra de Albarracin in the morning,
through the Pine forests is very interesting. The winds were
up to their old tricks again today but the trees helped
a lot (as a shield).
Day 16 (Tuesday 14th September 1993) : Mariana - Motilla de
Dist: 106.21kms, AvS: 22.4kmph, MxS: 50kmph, Time:4h44m
- Mariana - Cuenca (CU-921, 11kms)
Reached Cuenca at 11am. Had breakfast and wanted
to cash some travellers cheques (that seemed to
take for ever). Completed that by 1pm. Searched
for Maps (we had lost our Map of Spain and were
looking for Michelin map for this region). Could
only get a road map (in book form) from a Petrol
Station. Had lunch and it was nearly 2:30pm by
the time we set off from Cuenca.
- Cuenca - Arcas (N-320/ , 12kms)
The road climbs out of Cuenca and then flattens
out completely from there on.
- Arcas - Hontecillas (34kms)
Headed towards Valverde de Jucar from Arcas.
About 4kms from Valverde, turned off towards
- Hontecillas - Olmedilla de Alarcon (24kms)
According to the campsite map, there is one here
at Olmedilla. We reached there to find that it had
closed a year ago (met a Dutchman on his BMW
there in a similar predicament). So decided to head
to Motilla and find a room there.
- Olmedilla de Alarcon - Motilla del Palancar ( /N-111,
Found a Pension at Motilla (he had a garage for us
to store our bikes in).
The winds were blowing for the 3rd day today but fortunately
not as strong as Sunday.
Day 17 (Wednesday 15th September 1993) : Motilla del Palancar - Ossa
Dist: 140.54kms, AvS: 20.3kmph, MxS: 45kmph, Time:6h54m
- Motilla del Palancar - La Roda (C-311/ , 44kms)
In the morning found that one of the Cycle pumps
had been lost (?). So had to buy a new one at Motilla.
Pedals developed a click so had to buy a socket
spanner at a hardware store at Motilla. Left town
at 10:45am. Lunch at La Roda.
- La Roda - Munera (C-312, 34kms)
- Munera - El Bonillo (C-3.214, 12kms)
- El Bonillo - Ossa de Montiel (23 + 7 = 30kms)
At Ossa de Montiel at 7:45 p.m. found the
campsite was 7kms away. Reached the campsite
(a small climb up and a big drop down) to find it
locked!. We knew of another site being about 4kms
away from here, so headed of there. Climbed up
again and began to get dark by then. Found a Hostel
there instead where we stayed for the night.
The folks at the Hostel were very friendly. Seemed like a
place with a lot of rooms and we were the only people
around that night. The region is a wine producing region
so I guess it fills up during seasons time and this is
where all the "pickers" stay.
The winds was not too bad today.
Day 18 (Thursday 16th September 1993) : Ossa de Monteil -
Dist: 119.48kms, AvS:22.6kmph, MxS:60kmph, Time:5h16m
- Ossa de Monteil - Villahermosa (27kms)
Had to climb back to Ossa. Before leaving the hostel
my front brake cable snapped so had to be replaced.
Its a straight flat run to Villahermosa. Lunch.
- Villahermosa - Alcaraz (N-322, 40kms)
This run was flat and the road was good so the going
was fast. At Alcaraz rang up Alicante to reconfirm
tickets. It was noon and was hot. Here we were told
to head off along the N-322 to Reolid and take the
road from Reolid to Riopar (supposedly a new road and
was not indicated on our map).
- Alcaraz - Reolid (N-322, 11kms)
On this road we completed our 2000th kilometre.
- Reolid - Salobre (5kms)
Stopped at Salobre town centre. Good small
village with inquisitive old folks.
- Salobre - Riopar (22kms, >> << 1480m)
The last 500m of the climb becomes suddenly
Riopar has a campsite which was not mentioned on our
camping map (we were told that was because it was
a new site). When we put our tent up we were the
only people there (joined later by a couple in their
car). Had to go into town for dinner, a 20 min. walk.
Finally no head wind problem.
Day 19 (Friday 17th September 1993) : Riopar - Socovos
- Riopar - Elche de la Sierra (C-415, 45kms, >> <<
Steady climb up after Riopar. The next bit
on the top is flat. Found a lot of wobble in my frame
before reaching Elche. Discovered a crack in my frame
there. Tried to find a welder but there was a fiesta
in town so couldn't find any. Finally with the help
of a local chap located a welder's house. His son
welded the frame (but refused to take any payments).
Decided to stay here and watch the Bull fight in the
evening. No rooms available. So hung around and at
5:30 p.m. the bull fight began at the town centre. Its
something to be experienced (though I still can't
reconcile to it). The bull is killed in the end
with a knife pushed through its head.
- Elche de la Sierra - Socovos (C-415, 23kms)
Left Elche at about 7 p.m. to the next town to
find a room for the night. Found a pension at
Socovos (the owner had a store room for us to keep
the bikes in).
All in all it was an eventful day. It was stroke of luck that
we could get the frame welded. The bull fight was an
experience in itself. Its something thats enjoyed by everyone
of all age. I personally find it quite barbaric but then thats
Day 20 (Saturday 18th September 1993) : Socovos - Crevillent
- Socovos - Cieza (C-415/C-3.314, 59kms)
The morning was cloudy and cool. The route passed
through a lot of grape plantations. Had to
watch the road even more carefully so as not to
stress the weld too much. Lunch at Cieza.
- Cieza - Fortuna (N-301 , 34kms)
It poured down with rain for an hour, after we
left Cieza (got soaking wet). Stopped at a
village before Fortuna as it started getting
quite hot and humid in the afternoon.
- Fortuna - Abanilla (8kms)
The scenery was very much desert like. Dry
arid lands with small ups and downs.
Stopped for a coffee at Abanilla
- Abanilla - Crevillent (N-340, 22kms)
Passed Albatera on the way. We had finally
left open country and reached the jungle of
urban civilization again.
The campsite at Crevillente was good. A good bar
too to finish a long journey in. There was some
kind of celebration that went on till late that
night (something to do with the Arabs or Moors
coming to Spain). However we were refunded our money
by a very apologetic manager the next morning because
of the noise.
Day 21 (Sunday 19th September 1993) : Crevillent -
Dist:53.6kms, AvS:18.2 kmph, MxS:46kmph, Time:2h:57m
- Crevillent - Alicante (N-340, 36kms)
Being Sunday the roads were a bit quieter so
had a quick uneventful run into Alicante.
The city was all closed. Went to the beach
and spent the afternoon there. It rained for
a hour in the evening. Left for the airport soon
- Alicante - Airport (N-340, 14kms)
Set off at about 7pm from Alicante city to
the airport (before it got dark). Had a
pretty long wait as our flight was only at
4 a.m next morning.
When examined in greater detail Alicante was not
bad as it seemed on day one. Maybe because being
Sunday things were quieter. However all good things
have to come to and end and time does really fly when
you are having fun.
Total Distance: 2267.72kms.