Daily Archives: September 21, 2012

Day 73: Pelayos de La Presa to Madrigal de la Vera – 108k

5,762km down: 463km to go Up 877 metres, down 1036

I slept quite badly last night, I guess I am not really a camper by nature, give me a room any day over a tent! Still I have not succumbed to getting a room and have tented every tenting day since Venice. I review this decision daily, I wavered a week ago after the really hard day but went off the idea when they said it would take three hours to get the room ready!

It was still totally dark at 7:30 this morning; we sat around eating breakfast with our headlights on. How different from the early days of the trip when you went to sleep in the sunlight and woke up in the sunlight!

We set off as soon as it got light. Nothing of great note today, the dry landscape was a bit stark, often fields were basically just dirt. Today was gradual climbs with some downhills.

The landscape

14k to town, hot and dry landscape, and riders

The campsite tonight looks quite nice, dirt to pitch the tents in but soft enough to get tent pegs into. The campsites have been a real mixture, from the fantastic, almost perfect campsite, to fairly basic. We have no idea day to day what the campsite will be like. Most have had Wifi (except in Italy) and all except two have either had a bar or at least sold beer. Today’s has Wifi and a bar, so I am sitting in the sun updating the blog, having a cold one, damn it’s a hard life!

Campsite at Alardos, in Madrigal de la Vera

When we got to camp one of the ladies who runs the camp was riding around on her electric assisted bike. We have joked over the tour at times, especially when on hills, about wanting to get one of these, so Daniel took to opportunity to have a ride, watched by his new friends – there are gnomes everywhere at this camp!

Daniel trying out the electric bike, with his new friends watching (he is going to ask Santa for one for Christmas)

It’s hard to believe but this time next week we will be riding into Lisbon! (Editors note: this blog was written on Tuesday 18th of September).

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Day 72: Madrid to Pelayos De La Presa – 83k

5,654km down: 571km to go

Once again I enjoyed sleeping in a bed. There was a bit of chaos leaving the hotel due to the single left, so by the time we finally left in the convoy the traffic was pretty gridlocked. We rode in the midst of it for about 6k, and then we went through the park by the Zoo for a couple of kilometres. I would have liked to have seen the Pandas again, but we went past ages before the Zoo opening time.

Traffic leaving Madrid

Not a lot to report about the ride today, it was fairly short, 83k with only one significant hill. The scenery was dry and hot.

Of great interest today we went past the NASA Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex. There are three sites in the world equidistant from each other: one in Canberra, Australia, the California Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in the United States, and this one in Spain. Where ever a satellite is it can be in communication, it takes two seconds to get or send a message to the moon, and it takes 79 minutes to send a messages to or from Mars.

Madrid NASA Deep Space Communication Complex

I wonder if any of the cows are secret agents?

The campsite tonight seems fairly deserted, so fingers crossed it will be quiet tonight. I discovered yesterday we have eight more riding days to Lisbon, including today, not seven like I thought.

Happy 50th Birthday Julie, I hope you had a great meal out!

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