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Old 11-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #54
MikeO OP
Wage slave...
 
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,657
8th November 2012

I checked the weather forecast last night - it didn't make good reading. If you wanted to head for good weather, then Granada was not the place to start. No problem - the local weather is meant to be fair, so I extend my stay for 24hrs and decide to do a local loop. It will be nice to ride the Adv relatively lightweight for a change...



I take the lift down to the basement and put the tank bag on the bike - I'm leaving most of the other stuff in the room, so the panniers are nearly empty. I ride out of the garage and fill up at the Carrefour service station next door. I'm out on the road heading north at about 0925...



I've programmed a loop of about 100 miles around the national parks north of Granada. Bettie steers me on the dual carriageway away from the city then turns me north...



It's obvious from the cloud I can see that I am in for a mixed bag of weather today...



There's a tiny white church right at the top of this rock...



I pass what I assume is the soccer stadium on my left...



I'm on more minor roads now - there was some kind of secure facility - military, probably, on the right - with guard towers...



...at the corners.

I'm now on a well-surfaced and fast road -similar to the N322 the other day. As it climbs into the mountains, a 'crawler lane' forms to the right...



...to allow traffic to pass slow movers. Interestingly, though, there is a minimum speed limit of 70kph in the overtaking lane.



I'm soon in hill country and seeing the familiar geometric patterns of olive groves. It has rained quite heavily here, and the road is just drying out...



I turn off and enter several miles of twisty roads, much narrower than the one I've left, but well surfaced and marked...



The Adv's going well, so I get a bit of a shuffle on...



The hilltop town of Montefrio appears...



I ride down its tiny narrow cobbled streets...



...which have a single central gutter...



I take a couple of pics of the churches...





...and then blindly follow Bettie's directions and end up descending a slope I can only describe as terrifying. It was probably nothing - I tried taking pictures, but they don't portray the white knuckles I had descending to the main road at the bottom...



I get my breath back and take a few pictures of the rock formations at the base of the hill...

Moving on, I notice I'm going through an area of rather affluent looking housing...



Anyone have any idea what this might be, built in the front garden, though?



I wondered if it might be a bread oven or something - it just seemed a strange place to put it...

Do you think the owner of this house might just be in the olive oil business?



It's very pretty up in the hills...



The roads are in good shape and pretty much empty.



There is a habit of building cemeteries up high, so that ancestors have a good view for eternity...



This is their view - not bad, eh?



Onward!



I expect it's the gardener's weekend off...

I found this little gem...



...hidden away in the centre of quite a modest little town.



Odd ruined towers dot hilltops throughout the area...



I ride on, and am beginning to feel a little peckish...



...and decide to stop at the next cafe/bar I see...



...but nothing turns up for a while...



...so I keep riding and snapping away...



At last - and at almost exactly at the halfway mark...



...I come across this roadhouse and have the house special, which today is:



Scrambled eggs with green beans and chorizo - which tasted a LOT better than it looked

...to start.

Whilst I am waiting for my main course to arrive, the heavens open...



It's pouring down. I decide to take my time over lunch...

The second course turns up:



...some kind of flatfish pan-fried in olive oil. Delicious...

I should point out that nobody at the restaurant spoke English, and my Spanish is dormant, so I had no idea what I was ordering. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise...

The rain abates, but I decide to get kitted for wet weather as a precaution anyway. I have paid my 8 bill and am just getting kitted up, when Chrissie...



...asks me if I've really ridden my bike all the way from the UK. She and her family are ex-pats from the UK and have lived in Spain for several years now - she's sneaked out for a crafty smoke. We chat about this and that and it turns out she has good friends living about ten minutes away from my home...

I say goodbye and head off onto some very gnarly and under maintained roads...



My average speed drops considerably...



Three untethered horses trot across the road ahead of me...



I'm pretty sure the rain hasn't finished for today, though...



There seems to be some sort of disused (or little used - very overgrown) narrow gauge railway running through here - the bridges are still standing. Perhaps it's a method of collecting the olives and transporting them to a hub for collection?

I get back onto some decently surfaced roads. It's a crime that it's wet - this one would be fun in the dry...



I start making tracks - I'm going to have to start heading home tomorrow and I don't want to be writing late...



The rain has cleared the air and you can see forever...



I spotted this old olive press decorating someone's garden...



The skies clear and I make good time...



...back towards Granada...



The bike...



...might have to get a bit of a wash when I get back to the UK...



...for now, though, I join the A92 for the last 40km, arriving back at the hotel, after filling up, at 1700.

I start the photos uploading, then walk over to the supermarket and buy some dinner...



I can't ever remember seeing puppies for sale in pet shops in the UK...

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All text & original photos Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014
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