Alcalá la Real - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

April 1, 2022

Alcalá la Real

The weather forecast for the next few days looked scary.  Temperatures dipping below zero and not reaching double figures on our route and a lot worse for further north.  Thankfully there was no rain forecast for today.

We walked our bicycles down the steep, cobbled street from our digs on the hill to Calle de Andalucia from where we enjoyed an easy ride out of Granada.  Easy that is until we reached the junction of Granada and the town of Maracena.  All that seemed to lie ahead of us was a busy motorway.  We stopped on a pedestrian walkway to plot our way out of the mess when Leigh spotted a cycle tourist grabbing the bull by the horns and disappearing down the motorway.  We weren't that brave and opted for a detour through Maracena.  After about ten kilometers we joined the N-432, a rather busy main road between Granada and Cordoba.  Scenic cycling wasn't on the cards for the day so we put our heads down and cycled into the icy headwind.

The first twenty three kilometers was mostly a gentle downhill and we raced along until we reached the first of a few climbs at which point our progress slowed dramatically.  This took us up over two hundred and fifty meters and was followed by three more of about a hundred meters each.  The last one was gentle enough to not really seem like a climb but the cold wind made it hard work at times.  I thought I had been a weeny to wear three upper layers and a pair of trousers over my cycling shorts but it turns out that Leigh was wearing a technical shirt, a woolen T-shirt, a woolen jersey and her rain jacket.  And she still got cold at times.

Heading into the hills we were once again in olive territory.
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Looking back on the second last climb we could see fresh snow on the mountains behind us.
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Third province of the trip.
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The alcazaba above Alcalá la Real.
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Alcalá la Real is a neat town of some historical interest.  With just over twenty thousand inhabitants it is large enough to have all the amenities that modern life seems to demand but is still small enough not to be overwhelming.  We had mistakenly thought this weekend was the Easter Weekend when it is still two weeks away.  So we booked two nights at a small and simple hotel here because we were worried we would struggle to find accommodation over the Holy Weekend, as it is known in Spain.  Given the bad weather forecast that might turn out to be a good mistake to make.

Today's ride: 56 km (35 miles)
Total: 235 km (146 miles)

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Scott AndersonHey, we must have ridden nearly this exact route back in 2004: Hey, you didn’t happen to see a red pannier by the side of the road did you?
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2 years ago