3rd May 2013

I gratefully left Pozo Alcon and headed into the mountains. I had a route to use from the guys at Transandalus, but when I uploaded it to Everytrail I spotted some very steep ascents – looked like 20%. So I worked out a more gentle route for me and my trailer. The route initially lead out through olive and almond groves, but as I ascended soon came into pine forests. Again, it was very quiet and I saw no-one all day except a few intrepid 4×4 drivers who must like the excitement.

The mountains here are mostly limestone, and so is even more spectacular than many others I have travelled through (I am going to run out of superlatives soon).

Huge cliff faces soared into the sky above me, and gorges dropped away into the rivers below. I came across massive limestone pavements which make Malham look very small.

 And the hight is quite something – despite being a small range the peaks run up to 1800m – I even cam across the remains of some winter snow.

These mountains seemed to have a lot more wildlife than many other forests I had been in. As the morning warmed up huge raptors started to appear, rising up in the thermals to hunt. I think these were Booted Eagles, though I can’t be sure.  All day as I went along there was bird song of many different sorts. At one stage a patch of road had millipedes trying to cross it; I did my buddhist best not to run them over. I think there must be a joke in there somewhere – why did the millipede cross the road? I saw Ibex all through the higher reaches, and at one stage came across a small Adder sunning itself in the road. Also, check out the dung beetles on the video doiary 🙂

So finally I descended into the village of Cazorla down a winding path which got steeper and narrower as I progressed…it was quite exciting towards the end. The village is not very picturesque, but seems a lot more friendly than Pozo Alcon. People said hello to me as I passed by, and there is a nice centre with several bars where families were  sitting and chatting. I have found another inexpensive hotel here – £30 per night incl breakfast, but it’s really great. See Villa Turistica de Cazorla. http://www.villasdeandalucia.com/ I have a big room with a balcony, there is free wifi in the bar, and it’s a little outside town so is quiet (there is some celebration on today and I can hear a brass band marching around the village – I’m glad I’m not too close to that. I have views of the castle and cliffs behind, and am  surrounded by birdsong as I type. Today I’m going to change the bearings on my rear wheel – wish me luck, I’ll need it.

Video diary at:

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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