We set out today thinking that we would cycle back up the way we’d come through the mountains to the 1st viewpoint. Not the best idea! This is a main road with no proper verge and we realised after 1 1/2 miles that perhaps we should abandon the initial plan (when faced with a steep climb in those conditions I didn’t feel so confident..)
But we’re back into the ‘Everything happens for a reason’ territory here, as we took a left towards Campillo del Andentro. We got to examine one of those abandoned, derelict (okay, falling down – or even fallen down) houses – I have a thing about buildings; I like to explore them!
We still had a steep hill to climb, but on a very quiet road (we saw at least 2 dozen cars on the main road in the 10 minutes or so we were on it….). So up we went and at the top we stopped and looked down on a couple of little villages and what looked like a ruin of some sort of fort – guess where we were headed?!
So now for the 1st of my records broken today. Heading down I allowed myself to get up to 17.5 mph before chickening out (I know, it’s pathetic – Calv was way ahead, I think he got up to about 25mph on this descent…).
We came to the 1st village, Campillo del Andentro, and spotted a ‘local social’ (very cheap drinks in these, 1 euro – whatever you have..). We then went off to the left to explore the ruin that we’d found. Chained the bikes together and headed up the escarpment to the building. I really can’t tell you what this building was, but it was very large with numerous individual rooms and a couple of larger ones and a central courtyard, so I’m thinking maybe a hospital or asylum of some kind.
Unfortunately this was all observed through the window openings and the main door (which we tried not to get too close to as the plinth above looked pretty precarious). There was graffiti everywhere (this is really not unusual unfortunately), together with debris – pottery, tiles etc. strewn down the hill in front. Bit of a doer upper, if you like 🙂
When we left there we followed the road round to the left where we’d seen a couple of cars heading. This turned out to be a road up the mountain, part of a cycle/hiking path. Cars were able to follow the majority of the route (although the map shows it as closed to motor vehicles). We decided to go for it and see how far we got (I should know by now that when Calv says that he means “I’ll just keep on pushing you until you can’t go any further…”).
It was all good, apart from stopping a couple of times – I absolutely cannot get going again on hills like this! Trust me I tried!! So that meant that I had to get on my bike while Calv pushed me to get going – it’s okay, I don’t think anyone saw us 🙂
We got to a point (I measured it on the way down – it was 2.25 miles in) where I just couldn’t go any further, so I sent Calv on by himself (turned out to be just under a mile further). I could see him (courtesy of his yellow fluorescent jacket)! Even from where I was the views were amazing – unfortunately Calv didn’t have his camera or phone with him, and neither of us thought about him taking my phone, so we didn’t get any pictures from the top. He said there was a viewpoint and the views were fantastic and that I should be kicking myself for not making it any further – rub it in, why don’t you? 😦
On the way down I held onto my breaks most of the way (I’m scared of falling off, even more so when there’s a sheer drop down a mountain awaiting me…). I was so far behind Calv that he considered coming back up to find me! However, the very last bit I let the brakes go and got up to 24.8mph!
We’d earned our drink in the Local Social (I only had a Fanta!) Beer and Fanta – 2 euros 🙂
Then it was time to tackle the hill back up from the village – this one was hard work! But on the way back down to the main road, with an empty road and a better surface, I let go of the brakes again and got up to over 27mph! (Calv had hit 32mph). So I broke my own record 3 times in an afternoon!
Very enjoyable and I would do it all over again (next time I’d remember to take a drink with us though..)