Cool start to a great day of half dirt and half pavement riding.
We started out a bit early so as not to be out late in the heat. It gets extra hot around 3:30 it this part of Spain.
The mission for today is to get into Toledo in one piece. The big citys forget about foot and bicycle travelers coming in, so we would have to be extra careful at the end of our ride. Being on the cool side of the afternoon would make things easier.
Still somewhat flat, the mountains that we will be crossing are stating to appear on the horizon.
Mountain riding is harder, but cooler with more shade. We have been taking shade stops when ever we see a good stop for a sip and what we call a "Butt Stretch".
The photo of Barbara with the big brown bush is "Tumble Weed" it rolls around just like in the Western movies, but what isnt told is that its covered in tiny thorns. They find the low spots and are just in the way on the trail. Riding through them is painful and brings to mind those Cowboys in the leather chaps.
The Camino has been following the highway for the past 2 days. Not in the middle of nowhere as days past. We are passed by cars and trucks but not as heavy of traffic as we know from being home. One car or truck every 4 minuets or so.
The house flys in Spain are always with you on the trail. The only way to beat them is to go faster then they can fly. Thats tough work when your riding a tandem on loose ground. One fly today had found my right nostril very appealing and I think wanted to make it its new home. No matter how much blowing with my nose and lips, it just wasn't going away. (You can't take you hands off the handlebars to swat when the riding gets loose.)
Sooooo, we hopped on the road. Big break down lane and not much traffic we sailed along and left the Flys behind.
Just down the street we came across two fellows taking a shade brake. After a bit of chat, they decided that it would be best to lead us through the next round a bout so as we wouldn't get lost.
Underway, 6 of their buddy's came up in back of us and towed us along at a good clip for about 5km. Some looked like x-pros in their style of riding. Very smooth and very comfortable. They all loved the tandem and complemented us about it.
Getting closer to Toledo, the riding became high speed down hill and super windy. The head wind was not slowing the bike one bit but caused it to shake. Holding the bike in a straight line became tough.
We made it into town and near the huge stone gates of the old town. Super sunny and not good for photographs worth saving, we walked the final 2 K to the Hotel. Super narrow streets and steep. we found the place and went in.
We had been told before our arrival that we would need to lock the bike at the train station about 3 kms away. That was not going to work. The plan was to get the key and when no one was watching, bring the bike in.
But,, When we got there, the host said, "Bring your bike in!" "Wow its a Tandem! That's the first one that has ever been here!"
Every one here is really nice. The place is beautiful.
We gave the bike the day off today, so we will need to walk. Everyone following this blog NEEDS to have a day off here in Toledo. Its absolutely amazing! Look for the photos tonight!
Here are the photos of today's ride: