Playa Taray, Spain to Camping la Garrofa, Spain

From 04/10/2015 to 09/10/2015

Day 14 – Playa Taray, Spain to Seville, Spain – Cycling 60kms

We didn’t get much sleep last night. They had extremely loud live music at the bar. So loud that the earplugs didn’t work.
This morning we got up to an overcast day but thankfully no rain. The +/-45kms to Huelva went by pretty easy. Just before the city we met this young German couple who’ve been cycling for the last month around Europe. They started out in Germany, cycled south to the Med. than zig-zaged till here. Their aim is to cycle to Porto (or Lisbon) than catch a flight to Argentina and cycle north to Alaska. We forgot to take a picture of them but we’re following the adventures of Ciska and Michael on crazyguyonabike.com, and found a picture of them on their site so we borrowed it.
We found the train station in Huelva easy enough got the tickets to Seville (€30 for the two of us bikes included) and waited for a couple of hours.
In Seville we tried for a couple of cheap pensions for €25 per night but they were not good, a bit too dirty for our liking. We than tried for a couple of 4 star hotels but I guess we didn’t look good :-), so finally with the last breath of battery life on my phone we managed to book a room for two nights at the Apartamento Turistic Resitur, great location and good value for money. We didn’t know it but this week is high season in Seville and the prices reflected the fact €45 a night.
Later in the evening we found the real nice Phoenix Pub which also has a great kitchen and got a couple ginormous burgers and several pints of beer to wash them down with.

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On the HU-3400 on a gray morning.

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Entering Cartaya about 12kms before our turnoff on the A492 for Huelva.

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On the A492.

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Just after Corrales we found this cycling path that led us nicely into Huelva (middle of picture, in the distance).

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Crossing the Rio Odiel on the cycling path next to the A497.

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It was really easy to find the train station and the comfortable train.

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The bikes nicely tied up for the ride.

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A modern and fast train we might add.

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It didn’t look like we missed much, gray day with a strong headwind.

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It was nice for the staff at the Apartamentos Resitur to allow us to bring our bikes in the room.

Day 15 – Rest day in Seville.

As you can see in the film we chose the right day to relax. The storm lasted til after 13:00.

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The Palacio de San Telmo.

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Torre del Oro.

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Metropol Parasol. Click to view larger.

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Metropol Parasol. Click to view larger.

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We saw many of these huge trees with gnarly looking root systems all over the city. We wish we knew what type they are.

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The Columbus Monument in the city park near the Universidad de Sevilla.

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We were really amazed at these small parrots (we think Aratinga conures) all over the place.  Unfortunately this is the best picture I got.

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Around 18:30 we made our way back to the Phoenix Pub for another burger and a few pints to wash it down with.

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And the temperature was real comfortable.

Day 16 – Seville to Camping Almayate Costa – Cycling 34kms

Got up early to a beautiful clear day, got our stuff together and made our way to the train station. We had to wait about two and a half hours for the two and a half hour ride to Malaga. The train had a different setup, we were assigned seats and the bags had to come off the bikes. The ride itself was boring for the most part, but when we went through this mountain range it got really scenic.  We did notice the train stations in Spain were really clean and no groups of young man or drug addicts hanging about, maybe Holland could take some pointers from Spain.
The +/-30kms along the coast was very nice with cycling paths for some of the way, and once on the road the drivers were pretty courteous.
Camping is on gravel but OK, good value for money. They will be closing soon so we need to plan a little bit for a place to sleep for the rest of the tour.

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Unfortunately we didn’t take many pictures from the train. We rode through many tunnels and didn’t have enough time to focus on a place before we took the picture.

One of the very clean train stations in Spain.

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Malaga waterfront promenade. Click to view larger.

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Lunch at one of the barbecue areas along the nice cycling paths.

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We wandered why they had gates at the tunnels.

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The cycling paths were great and at this time of year we had them mostly to ourselves.

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Playa Perros. Click to view larger.

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No shortage of beaches here.

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This was a nice camping, well organized, great location and the shop was fully stocked.

Day 17 – Camping Almayate Costa to Camping Playa de Poniente, near Motril – 69kms

Got up after a very good nights sleep. It just felt better sleeping in our tent after a couple days on (a too soft) hotel bed. The day started out easy along the coast until we reached Nerja then the climbing began and before the day would be over we had done about six hills with the last two being quite difficult in the afternoon sun. Great views but we did work hard for them.
At the camping we had a laugh as they tried to charge us €18.50 but Monique said we’ll try for the next camping so they knocked off €5, love that girl 🙂
All in all a great day cycling.

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Getting our stuff together.

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We’ve seen a few of these huge bulls along the coast so just had to take a picture of one.

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We guessed there must be a market for these types of homes.

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Great coastal road. Click to view larger.

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Parque Natural Sierras de Tejeda Almijara. Click to view larger.

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Right after Nerja the hills began.

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The views began to get better as well.

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Monique doesn’t look it but she’s really enjoying the ride 😉

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It was also getting pretty hot, we couldn’t imagine doing this ride in July or August.

Following are several pictures of the days ride. Enjoy 🙂

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We just couldn’t pass this spot at Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo for a well deserved break.
Down below is the Playa de Cantarrijan. We didn’t visit 😛

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Tunnel de Cerro Gordo.

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Panorama of Almunecar. Click to view larger

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Salobrena.

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A closer view of what looked like a castle with hotels build right up to it in Salobrena.
A couple of kilometers after Salobrena we got off the N340 and onto the N323 heading through an industrial area towards the camping at Playa de Poniente.

Day 18 – Camping Playa de Poniente to Camping La Habana (near La Curva) plastic city – 71kms

We tried to leave before 09:00 but no good, as much as we try we always manage to leave at 09:00. The first several kilometers were flat, so enough time to warm up before the hills. There weren’t as many as yesterday but they were steeper with on topping off at over 16% (in the midday sun with a temperature of around 35°). It wasn’t long but enough for our thighs muscles to burn 🙂
We noticed a lot of dark clouds inland but along the coast it was clear. Again we had a lot of great views but we also worked hard for them.
A highlight of the day was when we saw these mountain goats on a really steep hill. Never saw them outside a zoo, so it was really nice to see them in the wild.
The camping itself is OK and very clean, for being in the middle of plastic city. There is another camping called Las Vegas but it looked really bad. It seems these places are used more for the seasonal workers. The coast line is not clean, it’s just a cheap place to camp for the night and as much as we wanted a few beers after the days ride we could only afford just one 25cl bottle.

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Still on the N340 and La Chucha village in the middle. Click to view larger.

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Calahonda with Punta de Cerro Gordo on the left. Click to view larger.

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The N340 coastal road heading to Castell de Ferro. Click to view larger.

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The mountain goats we saw today, wish we knew what species they were.

Amazing how they just run along sheer cliffs.

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Following are a series of photos on the way to Castelll de Ferro.

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Castell de Ferro. This panorama was taken in a slight angle and couldn’t crop it properly without loosing most of it. Click to view larger.

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The tunnel just before La Mamola.

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Riding into El Pozuelo and the 16% hill right after. You can make out the N340a on the right of the hill. Click to view larger.

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Monique just made it over that really steep hill.

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The view from above. Click to view larger.

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And a new provincia.

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Monique enjoying the ride.

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Just before Adra we ran into Julian cycling solo from Germany to Gibraltar. Great guy we had a real nice but too short a chat.

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Sea gulls on a rocky outcrop enjoying the late afternoon sun.

Day 19 – Camping La Habana to La Garrofa camping – 47kms

What a horrible day. We started cycling through the plastic city than on a busy N340a. There are many warehouses and industry supporting plastic city so the truck traffic on the N340a which runs parallel to the busy A7 made for a very noisy and polluted ride. It did lighten up a bit around El Ejido but than got busy again for another 10 kms till after la Venta del Viso.
By the time we reached Aguadulce another busy holiday destination with high rises we were tired. The last  +/-6kms to La Garrofa were not bad, still a lot of traffic but it was just nice riding next to the sea again.
Camping here is fairly clean but quite noisy being underneath N34a and the A7 with traffic all night long. On a good point the camping kitchen is really good value for money.

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Riding through the plastic maze trying to find the N340a.

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The camping was near the sea opposite the lake.

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The plastic city from the N340a before El Ejido.

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On the N340a next to the A7 before El Ejido.

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This is after El Ejido. What an environmental nightmare.

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Getting into Puebla de Vicar.

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On the sea again with Aguadulce in the background.

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A bit quieter on this section of the road before La Garrofa.

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View from our tent.

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The camping seen from the waterfront. It’s actually located on a river bed. It’s very popular as its the closest to Almeria and many people we talked to are regulars.
But were sure it’s also more quiet when in a caravan or camper.

Continue on to Part IV.