Pantano de La Viñuela - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

March 26, 2022

Pantano de La Viñuela

Today was our first real day on the road.  The broad plan is to head to Granada via La Viñuela and Alhama, taking about three days .  But today turned out to be one in which we veered from out plans although finally ending up where we initially intended to be.

First off I had to reinflate my front tyre.  When it is cold the valve leaks a bit.  It is never a problem in warm weather.

Packed and ready to ride. Note the red mud still present even though Antonio had spent so much time trying to get rid of it.
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An easy ride down the coast to Torre del Mar, passing lots of the fortified towers that lend their names to many places along this strip, where we turned inland and starting climbing gently towards the Pantano (swamp) de La Viñuela. 

One of the many fortified towers along the coast.
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Can't resist a mermaid.
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Today's two meals along the road were buns filled with the leftovers of the curry I cooked for supper last night.
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The swamp is now a large reservoir because it has been dammed by an enormous concrete wall.  The climb up to the wall took us up a steep climb that had Leigh walking her bicycle for the second half.  A hundred and sixty odd meter over two and a half kilometers but with a few sections over ten percent.  A rude wake up call early in the tour but we knew it was coming.

It was at this point that we decided to change our plans.  The original idea was to turn left at the dam wall and camp at a site a few kilometers away from the main road.  When we got to the junction we decided the detour would just be extra work and we would look for accommodation further down the road.  To cut a long story short, after searching for digs with no success we ended up at the campsite two hours later and ten kilometers more than we had planned.

Our home for the night.
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After a lukewarm shower, we enjoyed a beer and pistacho nuts at a lookout overlooking the reservoir.   There seems to be very little water in it and I am sure there must be more important sources of water for the large population that this area holds.  We decided to head to the restaurant attached to the campsite instead of cooking for ourselves.  An overpriced and undersized hamburger, a glass of red wine and we were asleep by nine o'clock.

Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 68 km (42 miles)

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