Órgiva to Motril - Eating Our Way Around Andalucia - 2022 - CycleBlaze

November 7, 2022

Órgiva to Motril

Downhill to the coast

One glass of red wine did no harm - I slept fine.

Another beautiful morning, and warmer than Granada. We had breakfast on the terrace of the bar/restaurant. We were purposefully slow to get organized because we had a short, net downhill ride and don’t want to arrive too early. We started the day downhill, and through a short tunnel before a nice twisty ride up and down through a pine forest. We saw multiple deer, including one that darted across the road just in front of a car. We had nice views of the Rules dam and reservoir - the water looks super low. Apparently the dam’s purpose is only to store and provide water - it isn't for power generation. If recreation is allowed on the reservoir, there was nobody taking advantage. 

Looking back at Orgiva on another bluebird day.
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We were happy to be in the shade for a good part of the morning.
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Our first of two tunnels today. Both of them were very short.
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The reservoir behind the Rules dam.
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And the Rules dam.
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Nice views near Vélez de Benaudalla.
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We stopped for coffee in Vélez de Benaudalla, where we had been unsuccessful in finding accommodation for last night. Coffee came with a teeny Toblerone. That’s a first.

We made short work of the rest of the ride to the coast. The final downhill started with our second tunnel of the day, and a mirador overlooking the coast. It’s definitely a different vibe - bigger and newer buildings, and loads of what we later determined to be plastic covered greenhouses. We have hit the leading edge of what is called the 'Mar de Plástico', or ‘Costa del Polyethylene’. We had seen the first of these up near Vélez de Benaudalla.

Our first look at greenhouses. At this point, we didn't know what they were. We didn't get a closeup look until we got near the coast.
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Our first look down towards the coast. Those are all greenhouses in the background.
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Scott AndersonThis is nothing! We biked east to Almeria from here through the plastic ocean. Totally surreal: https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/iberia2019/almeria/
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2 months ago
Betsy EvansTo Scott AndersonWow!!! We definitely didn't see anything like that.
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2 months ago

Gail and I almost lost each other on the final downhill into Motril.  She hadn't seen me stop at a mirador, and sailed right on by.  I knew she was ahead, but she thought I was in front. She stopped at the first roundabout to figure out where I might be, and I appeared shortly afterwards, so there was no crisis in the end.

We checked into our quite nice and super inexpensive hotel near the centre of town. The bikes got wheeled into what must’ve been a dining room at some point. Now it’s a storage area.

We walked a long way to the beach - probably 4 km in each direction. Mostly on very nice (and busy) cycling/pedestrian paths, partly through flat agricultural areas. We had to get beyond the port to find the beach. There is a marina and ferry dock. The beach itself is very wide and goes a long way back from the water. It appears to be man made - they were spreading more of it with big loaders. There were only a handful of people at the beach, and no other swimmers. We didn’t linger in the water, but both of us got wet. There was no action on the water - no boats of any kind.

The very large and very empty beach in Motril.
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It's all been hauled in, I think. They were working on it while we were there.
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We were planning to have ice cream before the swim, but there were no nearby businesses open. Beach season is clearly over. Instead, we stopped for a beer on our way back to town, and had a generous chicken and french fry tapa. We also picked up yogurt and fruit for breakfast. For the first time, I noticed that Christmas lights are up.

Our Movistar phone plan  ended this afternoon - it died 4 weeks to the minute that it started. It has been a great asset.

After showers, we headed out to find some dinner. Our first choice was closed, like many other establishments. We selected another place on a nearby plaza that seemed popular, but it turned out to mostly be offering sweets - pancakes, crepes, and waffles. We had a beer instead, along with an empanada-like tapa. Then went in search of a falafel. It was quite good. I asked for salsa piquante, but mine was still pretty mild by Canadian standards. Gail said hers had some zing though. Kebab shops have been a savior for us - they seem to be open when other restaurants aren't. 

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Today's ride: 31 km (19 miles)
Total: 1,120 km (696 miles)

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