12th May 2013

Fairly uneventful day today – I started out following the gorge out of Ayna, which had a tricky bit of singletrack at one stage, but then was back in rolling hills and on tarmac. Today marks the time I really do leave the mountains and start to move into lower hills and plains. I saw many small hamlets which had been deserted, but the land was still being farmed: It was lovely rolling countryside and I cycled through miles of orchards again – almonds & apricots mainly. Also had a couple of entomology and geology moments (see video).

I stayed over in Hellin, which is a fairly large town compared to the places I have been in recently. It has 3 bike shops! I haven’t seen a bike shop since Niguelas (and even that was in the next village). So it was like a flood after a drought. They are;

  1. Bicicletas El Hellinero, on Calle de Ramón de Campoamor,
  2. Gembike Racing on Calle Poeta Mariano Tomás
  3. a new one (don’t know it’s name) on Carratera Murcia

I went to Gembike for help with my cassette, which had come loose and to replace the spare link I had used when my chain broke. They were very helpful, had loads of kit, and were the first place I had ever seen which had one of those boards for hanging tools, with the shape of the tools behind, AND had all the right tools hanging in the right places!

I stayed over in a hotel called Reina Victoria, where the manager was a keen cyclist too. He showed me to his patio where I could clean my bike and within the bounds of my limited Spanish, we discussed the problems with my freewheel and cassette. If you’re a biker, this is the place to stay.

Check out the video diary below.

Published by jhalstead1

This is my blog of my trip around Spain, off road, on my mountain bike. The story is told in full in my book "Three Wheels on my Bicycle", available on Amazon in Kindle or hardback.

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