Priego de Córdoba to Montefrio - Eating Our Way Around Andalucia - 2022 - CycleBlaze

November 2, 2022

Priego de Córdoba to Montefrio

Where we learned what happens the day after a holiday

We had a beautiful start to the day. 

We entered a new province - Granada, our last for the trip.

Despite being back the hills and having a couple of substantial climbs over cols, there were no puerto signs for us to celebrate our achievements. Points go to Cadiz province for providing signs at the top of every hill.

Rather than losing elevation by dropping into town, we had our morning coffee at gas station on the roadside in Algarinejo. There was a local crew drinking beer we’ll before noon, all within spitting distance of the pumps.

I saw and smelled a motorbike that I’m pretty sure it was powered by olive oil. Interesting!

After our morning break, we had a big climb, but it wasn't steep.

Algarinejo. Should we drop down into town to find a cafe?
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No need to lose elevation. There's a 'cafe' at the gas station!
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More quiet and beautiful roads.
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The last push up to Montefrio.
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We arrived early in Montefrio, with another climb into a hilltop town. The store where keys were to be picked up should have been open until 2 pm according to our emailed instructions, but it wasn’t. In fact, there were no businesses open that we could see, not even restaurants, though it’s Spanish lunch hour. We phoned, and someone from the hotel met us in no time. The bikes got parked in a very secure garage down the street.

We had a nice and newly renovated hotel room, but not twin beds. That's the first time this trip. Very nice shower though. 

Montefrio is internet famous for being selected by National Geographic as a village with one of the top 10 views in the world.  We couldn't very well miss that, could we? After getting cleaned up, we walked to the National Geographic mirador, and another mirador in town. Both lovely. Steep streets here! 

We were supposed to pick up our key here. But like all the restaurants, all the bars, and most shops in town, it was closed today.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Our street. Our hotel is here, with no sign. And all the businesses on the street are closed.
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The view from the National Geographic mirador. It is spectacular.
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Scott AndersonIt sure is. We stayed here almost 20 years ago on our own ride from Priego:

We must have ridden almost the same route and the same overnights all the way from Cordoba to Granada.
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2 months ago
An alternate view from the mirador :-)
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Hmm. The castle is closed today too.
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Many people in these small towns still live in very traditional ways.
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By the time we returned to the town centre, the heladería was open, so we had a cone. Then we walked up to the castle on the top of the hill, or at least as far as we could get - like all the businesses in town, it was all locked up. We turned around and went back to town. It was now 5 pm, so hypothetically things should’ve been opening up, post siesta.  Sometimes it's hard to tell here if a business is closed permanently, or just closed for a break, because almost everyone has pull-down metal shades. We saw some shades moving and even a bit of sweeping at one place, but no signs of an open restaurant.

We wandered in search of an open grocery store and frutería. Success! We picked up breakfast yogurt and bananas. And a wheel of local award-winning cheese. And a yummy puff pastry treat from a bakery. After wandering more in search of a restaurant without success, we retreated to our hotel room. Fingers crossed that 6:30 pm is the magic hour to get a beer in this town. Nope. We struck out again. Wednesdays must be a day off around here. There were zero open bars or restaurants in/near the city centre after 7 pm. Instead, we went back to a grocery store and bought cheese, ham, olives, and canned tuna salads and then returned to our hotel room to eat. We also enjoyed warm white wine. 

We watched a bit of Netflix and called it a night. Seriously strange that there was nothing open. I understand the late dinner hour. But not restaurants being completely closed on a Wednesday, or the lack of open bars.

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Today's ride: 42 km (26 miles)
Total: 943 km (586 miles)

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