Monday, October 27, 2008

Today Spain, Tomorrow Portugal

Day 396
Calañas to Rosal de la Frontera
Time: 4:00:00
Distance: 57.6 kilometers
Avg Speed: 14.4 kph
Terrain: Hilly
Location: N 37˚ 58’ 3.21”, E 07˚ 13’ 15.04”

We got on the road a little earlier today. Any other day it would have been late, but we gained an hour during the night. Most of Europe is on daylight savings like the US and pushed their clocks back as well. I gave Chris a hard time for setting alarms and making us get up early – it’s a battle I will never win.
As we continued to work our way northwest toward Portugal, we also enjoyed more of the Spanish countryside. The morning was cool and we were greeted with the crisp fragrance of eucalyptus from the trees alongside the road. We didn’t see a single car for the first hour of the ride – it’s definitely a change from a week ago. As we pedaled along, the pavement rose and fell in front of us. I remarked to Chris that it looked like we were riding in Australia and it felt like we were in New Zealand.
In the 57 kilometers that we traveled, we only encountered one larger town in between our beginning point and our destination. Interestingly enough, the autonomous region we have been traveling through (Andalucia), is the most populated in Spain. We just
happened to have found the least populated area – surprise. Apparently riding through the urban areas of Barcelona and Seville sent us straight into the sticks. It’s actually a little strange to find a region with such wide open spaces. We haven’t encountered such a place since Croatia. Europe certainly has its fair share of cities, but so much of it is just endless agriculture and quaint villages.
So tonight we sleep on the frontier between Spain and Portugal. Upon arrival earlier in the day, we got to push our bikes through the bar to be stored in the dining room. It was good entertainment for the Sunday afternoon crowd. Later we got the favor returned when we witnessed a real life “wild west” moment. We were sipping our beers when two young men on horses passed by the front door, stopped, and signaled the bar keeper. The next thing we knew they had two cokes taken out to them. I guess horses aren’t allowed in the bar. Bicycles before equestrians? That’s a first.

Going from adios to adeus,

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