Wednesday, 4 March 2015

We cycle a marathon and begin planning our UK summer tour

In the time-honoured tradition of Doing Too Much Too Soon, we
If you forget where you are, just look up! 
completed two fairly epic cycle rides on consecutive days this week. Sunday afternoon's was two-and-a-half hours taking in the local orange groves, crossing the long Pont De La Bega bridge with its garish orange streetlamps (twice), and getting far enough distant from Cullera for Dave to take this fab photo of the town name on the hill.

On Monday, and already a little sore, we took off in the direction of Valencia, basically to see how far we might get. I only just failed to ascend the whole Lighthouse hill out of Cullera - it is short but bloomin' steep. We passed Barraquetes campsite where we had considered staying, but rejected because their website kept vanishing so we were unsure if they were actually open. They are but, perhaps unsurprisingly, pretty empty. Having gotten used to seeing restored boats as the centrepiece of roundabouts, we were delighted to spot a sail one in a garden. Its crows nest looked like a tree house. We also saw a rice field with water in it! Rice is a widespread crop around here, but we had previously just seen dry bare fields.

The road was generally good for cyclists with an even surface, red triangle Recuerde signs, and most of our route had a nice safe wide shoulder. Plus Spanish drivers are courteous to cyclists in much the same way as their British counterparts aren't! Every car gave us a generously wide berth and most slowed down too. Once we reached the Albufera Natural Park, there was even a signpost reminding drivers that they were entering a 'green routes' zone and to expect many tourists on bikes. Our turning point was at another potential campsite, Devesa Gardens. We detoured for a quick nose around and weren't too impressed. I think we made the right choice in staying here in Cullera.

We gmapped our route when we got home. Devesa Gardens was 13.3 miles from our campsite, so a total distance of 26.6 miles in one journey. That's more than a marathon! And we managed the whole Lighthouse hill from the other direction - it's not as steep. Yay us!

However, Tuesday and today have seen us doing absolutely no cycling at all.

Looking towards our UK return, we have already got two exciting gigs booked: Kris Delmhorst is playing at the Con Club in Lewes on the 15th of April and Chris Smither is at The Greystones in Sheffield on the 22nd May. Three campsites are also booked - a mix of Caravan Club and Camping And Caravanning Club CLs. Initially we are in Hailsham, Sussex for the first half of April. Then we're going to Cawston in Norfolk for the end of April and over the May bank holiday weekend. Then its Derbyshire and Hope in the Peak District until the end of May. Exciting times!

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