Best mountain day on a bike?
We took a lift to Otivar this morning to take a little ascent out of a big day and avoid the less appealing part of the climb.
The day has been truly stunning and this road has to be one of the most amazing road bike routes around.
We started off zig zagging through terrace-farmed mountain side and wove in and out of the hillside. This path was once the old road for fisherman to take their catch to Granada. I'm quite keen to know how they made it there fresh; it went on forever!
After plenty of trundling, we reached a turning point in the hill and a switch in the landscape to towering limestone cliffs and pinnacles. The contrast of white rock, blue sky and green pine trees was hugely picturesque.
When we had most of the height gain out of the way, we rounded a bend and the landscape changed immediately to pine forest followed by beautiful plains dotted with trees. At one point two eagles were on the ground no more than ten metres away. There were lots of birds of prey but I didn't manage to ID them.
We stopped first for a coffee (no food served for another two hours or we would have done!), enjoyed stroking a beautiful bear of a dog called Campion (the Wonder Dog?) and cooled off in the shade of the trees. The next refugio came up trumps with a tortilla con patatas... I've converted Liz into this amazing bike food. We had a few more miles of undulating plains before dropping down on a fast descent to El Padul.
Padul is industrial but the lorries all gave us a huge amount of room. There are enormous motorway-sized signs reminding motorists to keep a clear distance of 1.5m. And they do! We found one last place for a break and eventually picked up our quiet road past the reservoirs back home.
...Where we're now exceedingly hungry!
(Let's not talk about dinner... Note to self, bring own food next time)