Near Montecorto to Olvera via Setenil - Eating Our Way Around Andalucia - 2022 - CycleBlaze

October 21, 2022

Near Montecorto to Olvera via Setenil

Another fabulous day!

I woke up to sound of bleating sheep. What a great alarm clock.  Much better than a rooster or barking dog. 

The Hotel El Corajo had a nice breakfast spread - our first (and second last) of the trip. There was meat, bread, olive oil, garlic, ham, and puréed tomatoes for the Spaniards, and yogurt, fruit, and cereal for the rest of us. Plus cake. In the interests of cuisine research, I had a piece of the very tasty cake. 

The young man at the checkout desk reported that he's a cyclist too, and he provided the best news we've had in days: we didn’t have to exit uphill! He provided very good directions, and we reviewed the route on the satellite photos.  It turned out to be a beautiful unpaved track down through sheep and pig farms through the Arroyo del Águila.  We didn't see any eagles though.  It crossed private pastures, so there were a few farm gates to open and close. Our gravel tires were perfect for this type of riding, and they've proved to be fine on pavement too.

The breakfast spread included do-it-yourself tostadas. Toast the bread, rub it with garlic, add tomato puree, olive oil, and salt. Yum. The breakfast cake is visible in the back. Not much left.
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Departing our hotel. Some of the rooms were off this courtyard. Ours was in the main building.
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Starting the wonderful downhill route to exit the valley. We were afraid we'd have to climb up the hotel's steep and long driveway.
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Instead, our route was downhill through private pastureland.
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The last gate.
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Having immensely enjoyed our downhill adventure, we got back onto paved roads and had some serious uphills starting in Montecorto. A couple of truly steep bits - the steepest since day 1, I think. Plus, it was windy on ridges. To add to the hard work, Gail swallowed a nasty-tasting bug.  She's barely recovered from her last stomach bug, and now she's eaten an actual bug.  No fun.  

We had lunch in Setenil de las Bodegas - a cool town with some houses built right into the cliffs. Thanks again to the CycleBlaze Classen's for highlighting this very interesting place.  

In the land of steep and twisty streets, Setenil's are especially steep. We watched cars doing an amazing job of navigating them with only an inch or two to spare. It made me realize that I should never attempt to drive a rental car through a Spanish town.  

It was a hot day, and I had a tasty lunch of empanadas and a seafood salad washed down by a radler. We did a bit of exploring after lunch. The town was decorated for the Fiesta of Cristianos y Moros (Christians and Moors)- old timey banners were hung everywhere. We left before the festivities started. It was too bad we couldn't stay longer, but I'm hoping to get some new brake pads at a bike shop later this afternoon.

Beautiful views above Montecorto. It's clearly been a dry year.
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Setenil, all dressed up for the festival of the Moors and the Christians. Too bad that it started after we left.
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Narrow streets make for tough driving.
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Cliff houses.
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And more cliff houses.
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Kathleen ClassenLiving in an earthquake zone here in Victoria we asked ourselves how comfortable we would feel living under those overhangs! Such an amazing place.
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2 months ago
These are occupied homes, not museum pieces.
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More cliff houses.
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We had a nice ride along a river towards Olvera, and then up through the village of Torre Alhaquime. By then, it was spitting rain. Enough to wet the roads, but not enough to put on my jacket. 

Our very reasonably priced accommodation is in a pension - Pension Medina. It felt like being in the owners' house. But it was really quite nice, other than wondering about the safety of being in a room with no outside window. We had our own bathroom, and the bikes are stowed in the lobby. 

I went to the only bike store in town to see about getting new brake pads. But they were really more of a small scooter and motorcycle shop that sells a few bicycles. He had no bike repair parts. The proprietor said my best option would be in Jerez, where we'll be in a couple of days. 

Gastronomic research continued with buying a 'torta del lunes' bakery near our pension.  It's a somewhat dry but very tasty yeasted cake containing almonds and flavoured with sesame, anise seed, and lemon peel.  It will be a great energy bar for the road. 

In the late afternoon, we walked up to the Olvera visitor info centre and toured the very interesting castle. The Spanish allow access to things that might be deemed unsafe in North America, so we got to climb right to the top of the castle.  There was a museum at the bottom that explained life in the area of the castle, and how it was attacked and defended. 

There don’t seem to be too many restaurants in Olvera, nor a lot of tourists compared to Setenil. I suppose that Ronda isn’t that far away, so some tourists probably just come here for the day. We had a very nice dinner on the patio right beside our pension. I enjoyed a delicious eggplant salad and the a second course of eggs and ham. The restaurant owner gave us liqueurs on the house; Gail had an apple liqueur, and my choice was limoncello. Free booze is always appreciated :-)

Our late afternoon destination was the Olvera castle. Where is it? Right at the top of the hill, of course.
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The castle had a great interpretive centre that showed one way of entering. We chose the main gate instead.
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Quite a stairwell.
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Olvera from the castle.
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Our pension didn't look like much from the outside.
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But it was very nice inside.
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I fell asleep very quickly after a great day, and looking forward to the Via Verde de la Sierra tomorrow. Then I was awakened by late night noise and smells of beef cooking.  It was a family dinner  hosted by the pension owners - one of them was a young kid, eating a meal starting that they started cooking at 10:30 pm. I suppose it's a Friday night, so he can sleep in tomorrow. 

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Today's ride: 39 km (24 miles)
Total: 405 km (252 miles)

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