09 May

Cycling solo through half of Spain: 580km of unpredictability -Day 1

I am sitting at the curb in front of a gas station in remote Spain eating two greasy sandwiches with unidentifiable ingredients.
I don’t recall the name of the town, maybe it has none? It does not matter, this is just a very deserted area.
I am alternating between being deeply engaged with my cell phone and observing the truck drivers who are curiously passing by. They probably wonder why a woman in cycling clothes is sitting by herself at a curb of a gas station in remote Spain.
If they knew what I am up to.
Monika, focus! Back to the cell phone. Will you keep going or find a hotel here?
It is 5pm, plenty of daylight left. Shall I risk it?
Ok! Why not!
But I should have known better. It is day 3 and I know what will be ahead.

The beginning of a 580km cycling adventure through Spain.

I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.
I recently moved from Australia to Spain. I love Spain and found a great cycling community here. But my inquisitive nature wanted to know what is beyond the daily cycling routes. Spain is huge so there is so much to explore. I decided a cycling trip from the capital Madrid back home would satisfy my curiosity – at least for a while. I packed a tiny bag with the bare essentials and off I was leaving Madrid heading South. I let myself guided by an online map. 530km so it said.

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The first 60km I was accompanied by two newly made friends, Alvaro and Slahde. The first day was short due to a late start. After 70km I called it a day. I was disappointed but I knew I shouldnt keep going. I promised myself to make day 2 epic though!
I got into a rural hotel in Chinchon, bought food from the supermarket, washed my cycling kit since I only had one and looked at a map for the first time of the trip.
Besides of a rough estimate of the total distance I had no idea about the route. I decided to take a closer look and planned a destination for the following day. Since day 1 was such a short day of 70km, I wanted to make day 2 long. If everything is going well, I could ride 250km I told myself.
But soon I would learn, this trip had its own timeline, not the one I set.
I was dreaming of an epic day.
And surely, tomorrow would not disappoint.
In different ways than I thought though. But that is for the next post.

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