To Medellín - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

April 18, 2024

To Medellín

We don’t have a long or difficult ride to Medellín, but the day will heat up enough that we’re on the road by ten, after meeting up with Susan leaving for Zafra for a last brief encounter before riding with her again this summer in northern England.

I’m startled when I see Susan though because the colors of her jersey almost exactly match my new one that I was lucky to find in a bike store in Zafra on the way out of town after Rachael fried my old one at the laundromat.  So of course we have to grab a passing hotel guest to do the photography honors for us.

Two perfect matches! Matching shirts, matching feet!
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Janice BranhamIt was meant to be!
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1 month ago
The new shirt’s from Zambrano Cycles in Zafra. I’m sorry to have lost the Bassano shirt of course, but I’m really pleased with the replacement.
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Zafra-bound. She’s got a longer, harder ride ahead than we do today.
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Leaving Mérida.
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We had planned to bike with Suzanne today (and Janos too of course, if his bike wasn’t kaput), because they’re also booked in Medellín tonight.  Instead though it’s just us, but we’ll let Suzanne tell her own story when she gets caught up on her narrative.

Today’s ride wasn’t one of our favorites of the tour, so we’ll make pretty fast work of it.  The first half of the ride is on EX-107, which proves to be busier than we’ve been experiencing lately and than we were expecting.  It’s safe enough with a reasonable shoulder, but not particularly peaceful.  It’s a relief when we leave it half way through the ride and enjoy much quieter conditions the rest of the way.

Oh, and there was the east wind blowing into our faces for the first half of the ride more forcefully than we’d expected.  That didn’t help our appreciation of this half of the ride either.

Looking back at Mérida from the top of the first and largest climb of the day.
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Looking south. It looks like we’re practically in the mountains here, but they’re quite a ways off. I’ve got the shot well zoomed in to pick up those sheep way out there.
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Crossing the Guadiana again, the first of three crossings today.
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This shot from an overpass gives you a better sense of how far off those mountains are.
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Yippee! Here’s our turn! Goodbye truck traffic, and goodbye headwinds! The mound in the distance is our destination, Medellín.
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There are so many different fencing materials, but here’s a new one for me.
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Bill ShaneyfeltOld wine jars?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltThat, or maybe olive oil?
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1 month ago
Were biking through plainer, less interesting terrain today but the storks are an endless delight.
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Approaching Medellín.
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Toward the end of the ride we’re just starting to see some contour in the terrain again. Here, I liked the shadows enough to hold up the rush for lunch.
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Video sound track: Besamo Mucho, by Dave Brubeck

We arrive at our hotel just in time to be seated for the menu of the day, and then head up to our rooms to wait out the hottest part of the afternoon.  We’ll go out for a look later but in the meantime we can at least step out onto our balcony for a look.

The view from our balcony. Or rather, the view from one of our balconies. That next one is ours too, opening up from our bathroom.
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I’d never heard of Medellín before planning this tour - not this one anyway, the namesake for the more famous city in Columbia.  We’ve landed here just because it has a hotel at the right distance to match our modest ambitions.  It’s worth coming to though, with a decent set of attractions.  If it wasn’t within easy driving destination of so many other A-list attractions - Mérida, Trujillo, Guadalupe and Cáceres are all nearby - this place might get more recognition and attention.

There’s definitely enough to merit an afternoon walk though, spent mostly with a visit to its castle and admiring the wonderful views from above.

I was surprised on my way to the castle to come upon Janos, setting up his drone for an aerial view.
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He showed his video to us later back at the hotel, and we’ll look forward to seeing it again when he posts it.
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Janos KerteszHier das Link dazu:
https://youtu.be/dPhaaWlxWqY?si=INttqVWDGK6sGcXD
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Janos KerteszDanke! I’ll include it in the next post.
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1 month ago
The origins of The castle are 12th century Muslim, but it’s been much modified since then.
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Looking down from the ramparts at the Roman amphitheater from the first century, one of the best preserved Roman theaters in Spain.
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Outstanding views from the roof of the keep, the high point of the castle.
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In Medellín Castle.
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In Medellín Castle.
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In Medellín Castle.
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The entrance to one of the castle’s two cisterns.
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The other cistern is older - 12th century, Muslim - but this one photographed better.
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The arched bridge across the Guadiana is more modern -16th century I think - but still interesting and attractive. There’s a nice view of the roadbed surface in today’s video.
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Rachael got out for her own walk too, but started out later than I did.  She was too late to see the inside of the castle, but she circled the walls and enjoyed the views; and she especially enjoyed the storks nesting atop Saint Cecelia Church.

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She was out late in the day.
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Back at the hotel’s restaurant, I was surprised to see that one of the customers had arrived on horseback.
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The view from one of our balconies.
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A last look at the castle.
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This was alarming. I looked down at the sheet and saw it had several large red stains on it. They came from my hat, still wet with sweat from my walk. I apologetically took the sheet down to the bar, but they weren’t at all concerned and just popped it in the wash.
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Keith AdamsI'm surprised that there's still enough dye in that hat to bleed, after all the experiences it's had and the adventures it's been on.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith AdamsI forget the story here, but it hasn’t really had that much wear. It’s fairly new, so I must have lost or Rachael hid its predecessor.
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2 weeks ago
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Today's ride: 28 miles (45 km)
Total: 973 miles (1,566 km)

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