101km Nuevo Rocio to Almonte
With the pressure on to get to Portugal to meet some friends, we cycled nearly until the sun had set through acres of Spanish countryside and part of the Donana natural park. When we first started this journey we thought our days would be completely free of pressures to meet deadlines like we’d experienced during “normal” working life. Instead we have been surprised at how often we end up cycling against the clock to get to a meeting point. We miss sights along the way and find ourselves feeling stressed, since in many ways how far we get is out of our hands. The wind, the terrain and even the queue in the supermarket all change how many kilometers we cover and on a bike we don’t have the luxury of driving late into the night as you could in a car. All that aside, it is wonderful to meet people from home and the anticipation of seeing familiar faces keeps us going when things get slightly difficult. Our journey today was a challenge not only in its length, but also in terms of finding our way during the morning. All around us were vast fields with just tracks running between the squares of land and no road signs. Of course it wasn’t long before we wondered which way to go. A few kilometers later we were at the end of a path with no option but to turn around and try another direction. Finally we got back to the main road and to the ferry which took us across the river, just south of Seville. The afternoon was much easier navigating, although we did have a couple rain showers to contend with. Our disappointment of the last half of the day was cycling 5km down a road, following signs to a campground, only to find it closed and gated off. We reversed course for the second time in a day and instead found a track leading to a tree-filled field where we pitched our tent for the night.