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105km Medina Sidonia to Chipiona

March 25th, 2007 1 comment


We thought we were getting up early when we reluctantly stuck our noses outside the tent this morning, only to find mist still covering the field and a chill in the air that sent us straight back into our sleeping bags. Actually it was about as late as we’ve ever slept in so far on this trip, only because the clocks had sprung ahead an hour overnight. With the hour we lost coming back from Morocco added into the equation we were starting to feel slightly jetlagged! Maybe the travel hangover explains why we forgot to plan for breakfast as well. We’d run out of just about everything so we set out on the road hoping for a cafe not too far away. Our luck was in as we climbed the hill to the 3,000 year old town of Medina Sidonia (we’d camped just outside the town). We couldn’t help but notice the packed parking lot outside one bar, propped up our bikes and went inside. “Cafe con leche,” Andrew said to the barman, holding up his hand to indicate two coffees, and then again to make the symbol for food. Spanish is a language where we are sadly lacking. The barman seemed to understand our sign language and soon our coffees appeared, along with a large, thick slice of toast and a plate full of jams and other spreads. Soon we noticed that nearly everything that wasn’t jam was pork. The Spaniards definitely like their pig and we had our choice of two pork pates as well as another package that seemed to contain some type of pig fat, maybe to be used like butter? With our arteries well and truly clogged, we set out to find the cycle path again. It was poorly marked and we ended up on a farm road that took us in roughly the right direction. By early afternoon we reached Jerez and lunched in the main square of the town, famous for its sherries. We are starting to get into the habit of an afternoon siesta or at least a long relaxing break and it was nearly 4pm before we started the final stretch of our day into Chipiona, a ride which covered a few busy roads. We got lost a couple times trying to find alternatives to the car-packed routes and finally reached a campsite near 7pm. Just enough time for a sherry! We rushed down the road to a local bar where we sipped glasses of Manzanilla sherry, the area specialty, before getting back to our site just as the sun was setting.

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One Response to “105km Medina Sidonia to Chipiona”

  1. friedel says:

    Road notes: The cycle path was a no-go really from just outside Medina Sidonia. It was poorly marked and where we did find it it was often torn up, muddy or impassable. Instead we took a road marked simply as an agricultural road, directly opposite a roundabout and about halfway up the hill to the town centre of Medina Sidonia. Follow the signs to enter Medina Sidonia from the west (oeste) and you will pass right through the roundabout, where there are also a couple cafe/bars. The road took us to the highway, but also with the option to join up with the A408, a quiet road which we followed to Puerto Real, before following the also quiet CAP 2015 to Jerez. From there we had a messy couple kilometers on the A480, which is effectively a motorway. There appeared to be a service road which you could follow but we missed the exit for it. Finally we picked up the A5109, a small but reasonably busy road, and then the A491, again quite busy, into Chipiona.

    What we spent: Breakfast €4.00 Campsite €13.50 Sherry €2.00

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