Day 28 Monesteria – Seville

I was going to need to cover a similar distance as yesterday to make it to Seville, though I woke up with a completely different feeling about the prospect. Psychologically, I’d broken the back of the split journey and rather than cycling to nowhere, not that Monesteria is, but getting to Seville felt more significant. I didn’t leave the bar of Hotel Moya, it was quite nice and I hadn’t seen anything especially interesting on the ride in. I was NOT going to ride up to the monestary, which seemed to be the main attraction! After eating the set menu with a beer and a couple of glasses of wine, i was ready for bed, but not before the barman had given me a large measure of the local liqueur.
Breakfast was the usual toasted roll with coffee, but can’t complain. €43.50, £31 dinner b&b, 3 beers, 2 wines, a bottle of water and a free liqueur!
I was on my way at 9.30 and as I’d been climbing towards town, was expecting s bit more to come. They’re was, for about 100 yards then I got a friendly 7% sign, downhill for the next 7 miles! Really nice riding down a relatively cool green and tree-lined valley, with long shadows crossing the road. There would be none of that later!
After 30 mins I’d done 10 miles and crossed into Andalucia.
The scenery suddenly changed with a lot more green and sweeping roads rather than long straights, with a few ups and downs, but nothing too dramatic so far.
I stopped for coffee and a Magdalena cake, as I was told, in a lovely town, – Santa Olalla del Cala. There were several tables, but most were in the in the blazing sun and it was like looking in a dazzling mirror. I sat at one a few feet away until the worried barman came out and said they were for the bar next door. – 5 feet away. I was about to sit inside, when a bunch of old blokes offered me the one table in the shade they had been at. Very kind of them I thought. They were off, to get a drink in the bar next door, – 5 feet away!
It was getting hot again, so when I passed a town with a few bars, I couldn’t resist, though it was a bit early for lunch. I hadn’t noticed it was a steep climb out or I wouldn’t have stopped, though I then had a fantastic ride down for about 3 miles towards a dam and lake at the bottom of the… valley…? Have you ever heard of a one sided valley? It was a cruel trick to play and the ascent was equally long and steep, and 3 miles of climbing in 38C is no laughing matter. It took a good 30 mins of steady grinding along in bottom gear to get to the top!
I think Google must be intercepting my ramblings, because after I’d described the ascent of the Orduña pass a few days ago, up pops a card (if you have android, you’ll understand) linking to this article on how to climb with a fully loaded touring bike. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Right at the top of the climb was a hotel with a restaurant. Perfect place at the perfect time. It was quite a nice place, like an old hunting lodge with stone floors and heavy wooden doors. The menu del dia was nice, a tomato tuna and onion salad with fillet of pork, – or chicken and chips. I got both and I’m not sure if that was their mistake or mine. Flan for pudding of course!
After the mammoth climb, I was expecting a fast ride down, but it just levelled out with a slight downhill. You could see for miles around, and everything beneath me was flat, but there was no free ride. In fact there was a strong headwind, which was like having a hairdryer in your mouth. The last 20 miles to Seville were quite hard and slow.
I’d pre- booked again and was glad I had. The place I’m in is’compact’ (read prison cell) but really nice and in the heart of the old town of Seville. A booking. Com review said room 3 which I’m in is small and they’re not kidding, having said that, location is A1, the building is typical and quite stylishly furnished £22 in a city? Got to be a bargain!
I’d told the hotel at reception that is already done the Seville tourist thing, so just wanted an evening exploring something more local, so she’s given me a couple of really good tips for bars and restaurants in little squares and alleys which I’m enjoying right now.
Getting out of the hotel was a problem though. There is some festival going on. I’ve no idea what it’s all about, maybe a hangover from the football, as there are still plenty of fans wandering round draped in flags.. Otherwise it maybe one of the local gypsies getting married? Anyway they were blocking all the streets with their singing and dancing. I didn’t know all the words, but could cross my hands over my hips and shout “Hey macarena!” Every now and again. They need to learn a bit of rhythm too. They’re all clapping along, but out of time with each other. One claps, then the other claps in the wrong place, then someone else gets it wrong, then the whole street is all over the place!

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5 thoughts on “Day 28 Monesteria – Seville

      • Iain middleton May 29, 2015 / 5:01 pm

        The wifi can’t be any worse than the O2 signal in Tring at the moment! All down hill from now on!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Christian May 29, 2015 / 8:12 pm

        I’ve seen on everything Tring on face book that people are having problems!

        Like

  1. Chris May 29, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    The blog wasn’t showing this morning but all OK now, welcome to Spain, yep, useless at clapping but certainly know how to make a racket! Bet you are sick of those flans by now, they always have those on offer. I only like the brown sugary sauce they get dished up in. Have fun exploring the old town, I like Seville. Keep safe xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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