60km Los Alcazares – Isla Plana
Considering we had planned on an easy day of riding into Europe’s oldest city, Cartagena, 60km was a bit more than we bargained for, being New Years Eve and all. But this didn’t seem to stop us. After checking out one hotel in Cartegena, a bit too expensive, and finding another full, we bailed on the idea of a hotel for the night and desided to push on.
Earlier that morning we had doddled down a beautiful coastline just south of Los Alcazares, not concerning outselves with any great speed. Stopped at our cheapest cafe yet for a Latte or Cafe con Leche — 0.90 euros just outside of La Union. The cafe must specialize in dried ham, since there were over 100 of the huge hams hanging from the ceiling in the cafe, getting their second smoking no doubt from all the cigarette smoke rising from the punters. After that stop, it was a mostly lazy downhill into Cartagena. Once we had made up out minds to continue for a campsite, we treated outselves to a lunch of paella and a beer. For the second day in a row the temperature has reached 21 C, so we needed to change into our short cycle pants and continue in the beautiful sunshine. Continually climbing most of the time, until we saw a huge valley, down and up, and finally back down at a 10% grade, reaching a max speed of 66km when a car passed. A good bit of fun. After checking into Isla Plana’s campground we ventured into the heated salt water pool, under the mountains which we descended. Not a bad end to 2006. Happy New Year.