Day 9 – Sweet Sherry

This morning I finally fixed the wonky indicator… to a full gallery of spaniards enjoying their churros and cafe con leche; the news on the telly didn’t get a look in!  I also gave her a quick wipe over, mostly to cut down on the cleaning later, but also thought the audience deserved an encore.

Left at 11.20 to go to Granada HD… The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day with just a few cotton wool clouds in the sky.  
Not a very eventful ride there, was worried I wouldn’t make it, but arrived at 12.45. I needn’t of bothered, absolutely nothing there worth the trip although the staff were extremely friendly even with the language barrier.  The woman in charge of clothing etc. obviously does not know me and decided that I needed to be incentivised to buy something… 30% off except hats and tees at 15%. I tried very hard to find something to buy, but actually left empty handed believe it or not.
The only photo I took in Granada;

It’s 2pm now, so where to go next is the thing… I could go to Seville, there’s a HD shop there; or visit Cõrdoba, never been there; or down to Metril, that’s only 45 miles away on the coast so could ride along past Malaga to Estepona and turn right to cross country to Cadiz, would probably find that elusive enclave.  Oh decisions, decisions…. I can be the worlds worst procrastinator if I don’t have a deadline or some other compelling factor.  OK, the call of the sea is too strong, down to the coast it is…
The wonderful satnav on my iPhone, which has performed almost flawlessly the whole trip, decides to throw a hissy today.  It took me an hour to escape from Granada… Round and round… After the third time past the HD shop I give up and head west, but not Cõrdoba, too far out of the way.  So either Seville or stop overnight on the way to Cadiz… well I don’t have to make a decision just yet… 😉

As I ride I decide to decide at 5pm… See how far I get by then methinks.  Start getting bum ache about 4.30, but stick to the plan and at around 5.10 turn off to take a break and decide.  The turn off is to a place called Olvera, high up in the mountains.  It seems pretty ordinary as I pull into the car park of a closed restaurant.  Have a little walk about to ease the bottom and then consult the satnav.  It’s about 65 miles to Seville and 75 to my hotel in Puerto Real, Cadiz. Or, I could just find a hotel near here, after all I have already ridden 160 miles today… The bum says stay here so I check the ever faithful booking.com… It can’t find my position!  Ok…. Let’s check if I can get an extra night in Puerto Real?  Yes I can, so it seems fate has intervened and before I can debate it I’ve pressed book.
Back onto the bike, which routes me into the town… It’s absolutely delightful, all cobbled streets and white houses, very Mediterranean.  It seems quite unusual for Spain as most of the interior seems very ochre… That sort of mustardy/biscuit colour that almost all the older buildings are.  Maybe it’s the portugeuse influence as it is very near to the border.  Anyway here are some pics..
Actually I notice that there are a number of white villages nestling in the mountains so it seems to be very much the way here.  

On the way down there are of course the ubiquitous olive trees marching up and down the slopes,

 but suddenly I come upon fields of sunflowers with their faces gazing up to the sun, probably like me, drinking it in before the next deluge.

Am getting very tired now and with 50 or so miles to go change the route to fast hoping I will get there sooner.  End up on a fast road, which is good and before long am being routed into Puerto Real.  No sooner has it routed me in than it routes me out again back onto the road I came down on, WTF! I am now stuck on the A4 for the next 10 miles as there is nowhere to get off $€%#~**. I have no idea what is happening with this satnav today, it must be the heat.  
Eventually arrive at the hotel… not very impressed I have to say.  I’m equally unimpressed with the hotel… it and the surrounding area looks quite rough.  There’s no one in reception so go into the bar/restaurant with the same name next door.  The woman behind the bar doesnt speak any english and, as we all know, my spanish is bloody awful, but we do manage to communicate… sort of.  She, of course, is not expecting me until tomorrow so I am trying to explain that I am a day early, but have booked the extra night through booking.com.
She takes me over to the hotel side… it seems ok apart from no lift.  The room is a good size with a settee, double bed and a full size fridge.  I have 2 juliet balconies overlooking the car park and my bike is parked right under my window so am happy with that.
I unpack the bike, dump my stuff and ride over to Puerto Sherry where the HOG rally is going to take place, starting on Thursday.  It’s about 8 miles from the hotel, I hadn’t realised that when I booked, but nevermind.

at last I get to chill by the sea…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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