50km Los Escullos – El Alquian
A short day for us, but by no means an easy one! We could have taken the relatively flat and shorter path to the city of Almeria, but instead we chose the beautiful but challenging road along the coast. Starting with a hilly few kilometers into the town of San Jose, where we stocked up on food, then along a dirt road past beaches and grazing goats and finally a hike straight up a mountain, where we more often walked and dragged our bikes than rode them. The reward came after lunch as we descended a steep paved road into the town of Cabo de Gata, although not before climbing one last hill with a 10 percent grade, our second in as many days. Of course all this took a toll on our overall distance, and we found ourselves just outside the city of Almeria by the late afternoon. On our way in, we came across a fellow touring cyclist and stopped to chat. Rolf, a German, has been travelling around Spain for the last few years, covering some 15,000km and living by playing his guitar in town centres. He is a bit of an expert on the area, and recommended a large undeveloped patch of land between Almeria’s airport and the beach as a good place to wild camp, so we took his advice and spent a quiet hour or so reading, before putting up our tent amongst the brush near the beach.