Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beer and Olives…Mmmm

Day: 396
La Palma del Condado to Calañas
Time: 3:30:00
Distance: 48.4 km
Avg Speed: 13.8 kph
Terrain: Rolling to hilly
Location: N 37˚ 39’ 8.8”, E 06˚ 52’ 51.6”

Yesterday, one of the highlights was sitting in the bar with the after work crowd and having a few cañas of beer. A caña is a small beer served in a wine glass. The bar tender got us our ice cold Cruzcampos (the brand of beer in this region) and grabbed us a small plate of homemade olives. I had never had fresh homemade olives before, and I think I will find it hard to go back. Salty, oily and firm. No canned mushiness there. A couple of Euro for the round and we were set with our little bit of Spain.

We headed out of La Palma del Condado around 9:30 this morning and quickly got under way. We tweaked our route a little last night and shifted from really back roads to a diagonal road to a highway. The diagonal road fell under the really back road category, but we were at home riding among all the bird hunters and pig hunters going hither and yon. They even had signs on the road warning of the pigs and dogs running around. While on the diagonal we kept seeing mileages to our destination tomorrow that were much more favorable than the route we had planned. We were trying to connect bigger towns with the belief that those places would have hotels or hostals (bigger towns being a relative term). The route with the shorter distance went through a wide open area with very few town options. After asking the gas station attendant if there was lodging in Calañas and finding out there was we set off on another back road. The gas station attendant added that the road was ‘arriba, arriba’ (up, up) all the way, so we at least knew what to expect. The riding was pleasant as we wound our way through a massive mining area that seemed to evolve before the time of any environmental conscience. About 5 kilometers out of town we came to the ‘arriba’ that the guy was talking about. At the top we turned off to our place and were greeted with a glowing white town complete with a windmill and 16th century church. The buildings here are almost all white and look like they get painted yearly. We wondered around a bit and finally located the hostal we had heard about. It was deserted, but after some looking we found a number and called it. The owner interrupted his siesta and came over to let us in and give us a room. It is probably one of the nicest and cleanest hostals we have stayed at yet. The bonus is they have a vending machine that dispenses cold beers. A few euro for beers and some canned olives and we are back in the swing of things.

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