15th May 2013

The day starts with a phone interview live on radio with Radio Merseyside, arranged my ever efficient PA Vicky. International fame at last.

Am feeling a bit better after my day off, but still not 100%. I leave the hotel outside Fuente Alamo and go into town to get some provisions. I discover a bakery that sells wholemeal bread (rare in Spain) and huge pastries. I buy both with a can of coke, and sit outside eating the pastry and drinking the coke as a fuel supplement for the day. Some chap comes up and tries to move me on – I realise that although the table and chairs are right outside the bakery they must belong to the cafe next door. I play dumb and stay where I am.

Just outside Fuente Alamo I meet the first other long distance bikers. Juan and Mariano are travelling a trail called Camino de la Vera Cruz and have taken out a couple of weeks to do it. I am impressed by how light they travel, and start to wonder if, now I am out of the high mountains, maybe I could cut back further. We discuss routes and tyres and then say farewell. Mariano has a blog and here is a pic of the chaps:

I pass through long fields of vines and wheat, but the scenery is not as spectacular as in the mountains, so I do some travel on tarmac to get to town faster. I intend to visit a bike shop as I have some new noises coming out of my drive train.

Almansa is quite a large town, and fortunately does have a very good bike shop (Bici Hobby on 108 Calle de San Antonio) where the mechanic takes it in and tells me to come back at 8.30. I do, and by then he has diagnosed the new noise as a problem with the crankshaft in the bottom bracket (sounds painful). He doesn’t have the right tool to open it up, so I will have to find someone in Valencia. I think there are some interesting parts to Almansa, but the leaflet that tells me all about it is in Spanish – I’ll update with the details when I have translated it.

The place I have booked is a self catering apartment To help myself recover I go the local supermarket (fortunately a big one) and allow my body too tell me what food will make it better. I end up with baked beans, eggs, creme caramel and weetabix. I eat them all and feel much restored.

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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