Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rambo and Solar Farms

Day 395
Seville to La Palma del Condado
Time: 4:18:00
Distance: 68.7 km
Avg Speed: 15.9 kph
Terrain: Rolling
Location: 37°21'N, 06° 38'W

Getting out of Seville proved to be another chapter in “how in the heck do we get out of this city?” As usual, the city bike path disappeared about the time the web of interstates appeared before us. This time we didn’t find the magic road to take us through the mess. After a boondoggle of about 5 kilometers we began retracing our steps back across one of the major rivers that runs through the Seville area. To our delight we spotted a recreation path along side the waterway. Unfortunately, we were about 40 feet above where we wanted to be. I was thinking we would have to ride back and connect with the road that lead to the path. At the same moment I was formulating my plan, Chris announced his “Well, I guess we’re going to have to Rambo it.” Isn’t it funny sometimes – the differences between men and women?
Finally back on track and heading west, we made some progress towards La Palma del Condado. There was no special reason for our selection of the town, just that it probably had a hostal and met our requirements for distance. Our plan takes us into central Portugal first before riding to the Algavre region in the south.
After lunch we finally left the urban sprawl behind and got into the beautiful rolling hills of western Andalucia. Plenty of citrus, olives, and solar farms dot the landscape. Surprised at the last item? We were too when we spotted the reflection of a major bank of solar panels from a pretty good distance. I can only attribute the unique reflection to a sunrise I witnessed on top of a mountain in Ecuador – it was mesmerizing.
Our rear ends were pretty sore by the time we rolled into La Palma. You’d think after almost 3,000 kilometers in Europe 5 days off wouldn’t be a big deal. We found the hostal, had a little rest, and then strolled the town. In the historic center we found a magnificent church – Saint John the Baptist. Awash in white with yellow trim and blue mosaic tiles, the structure towers above the surrounding streets. Chris read that it is one of the most important churches in western Andalucia.
Tomorrow we head north and into less traveled roads (at least we think). It will be nice to get out into the country again.


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