Out off The Fryingpan: Sevilla to Portuguese Border. - Sights Set On Morocco (Under A Hot Sun) - CycleBlaze

October 29, 2014

Out off The Fryingpan: Sevilla to Portuguese Border.

On Monday I did the free city-walking tour from the hostel. Felipe is tour guide. "It is best if your guide isn't from Sevilla" He announces to a large turnout in warm Spanish sunshine "I am Italian...It is better for you that the guide is an outsider, because they will tell the truth. Let me tell you, one of the main characteristics of people from Sevilla" Then looks around to see everybody is listening before saying in lowered tone "They are lazy" He grins and nods his head up and down empathically.

Not only is Sevilla the fryingpan of Europe. Temperatures of fifty-three degrees have been record here. Nobody wants to work when its that hot. No. They just want to lay about and sleep. But the reason for this laziness has historic reasons.

He shows us the old shipyard from the sixteen and seventeenth centuries when Seville had a monopoly on trade from America. It was a safe inland port unlike Cadiz on the coast vunnerable to pirate raiding. This trade drew in enormous wealth. Merchants and tradesmen from all over Europe moved here. And there was a lot of money generated by taxes. So people here were rich and didn't feel the need to work. However in the eighteenth century the river silted up barring access to oceangoing vessels and the trade moved to Cadiz.

On the road again. The autovia west of Sevilla.
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Looking at a Google map the way west out of Sevilla couldn't be more straightforward. From The Garden hostel in the old town, I follow the green painted cycle lane to the river and across the bridge. On the other side the cycle lane turns into a side street whereupon I take to the road, following signs for Huelva. Soon I'm on a busy autovia, but there's a vehicle wide shoulder. There are lots of interchanges. The road initially signposted for Cordoba, Merida and Huelva. In one instant the off-slip for Huelva is on the outside and I've to wait for a pause in the traffic to get across three lanes. Momentarily as I start to move out, two ferial dogs make a barking attach out from under the inside crash-barrier.

I'd been good on the last day in Sevilla, going to Lidl to stock up on food for the road. Only October twenty-eightieth and there are Christmas decorations and products in the shops. I should've remembered to buy batteries for my head-torch though. Also need yogurt for muesli in the morning. And five days in Sevilla without buying lights for the bike. They'll be needed from now on.

I descend down a switchback to a march with some kind of new tall white structure on the horizon. Two of them actually. Looks like the towers of a new suspension bridge. When the road levels out, there are round yew type trees everywhere and a large place with picnic tables to the side. But it is too early to stop for lunch.

Further on the road rises again up to agricultural plain. Green fields of a leafy brassica. Young Oilseed. And large tracts of yellow brown. Grain stubble being broken up for a new crop of wheat.

Sample of today's road. Autumnal farmland. Young Oilseed Rape on the left. Stubble broken up for Wheat on the right.
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A little down the road I met with the only livestock. A big black bull.
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Lunchtime on a farm track.
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Around five o'clock three touring cyclists catch up on me on the way into Huelva. And outside Lidl one of them who speaks English offers me a fridge magnet with a picture of Saint Basils in Moscow. A present for me from their homeland, which is kind, but I haven't a fridge.

There is a bike shop a little further. The man behind the counter first brings out a pricy rechargeable headlight. Then when I ask for something cheaper he disappears a while out the back. On the wall by the counter are framed newspaper articles from races and cycle events. One with the man serving me twenty years younger with dark hair in those days.

I'm glad I bought the lights as the other side of Huelva its dark when I come to the first possible campsite, an orange grove. Buying lights kills two birds with one stone. The headlight I use to see pitching the tent and to cook.

Today's ride: 146 km (91 miles)
Total: 7,401 km (4,596 miles)

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