35km Ugijar – Mellado

On top of the world in the AlpujarrasOn top of the world in the AlpujarrasOne of our shortest days yet but one we both agree was our most challenging so far, both mentally and physically, despite the gorgeous scenery. The route we had chosen to get to our farmstay looked as if it should be reasonably flat on the map but we obviously need some more practice in map reading. We struggled up steep slopes and with the road, which was torn apart due to construction and full of detours. The passengers in the cars that passed looked at us as if we were crazy and after a few hills we started to think they had good reason! In the afternoon we thought we might get a bit of relief from the climbing, but instead we were greeted with an uphill stretch that continued for 8km. Just when we were starting to wonder if we would ever get there, our WWOOF host Bill came to our rescue. He’d noticed we were a bit late from our expected arrival time and kindly came to find us in his car. A very nice sight indeed!

Bill took our bags off our bikes and finally we were able to make good time over the last few kilometers – an argument for cycling with as little in your panniers as possible if there ever was one. It was amazing how much more easily we were able to get up the hills.

After the tough day, we are now enjoying getting settled in with Bill and his wife Sue, who have a lovely home tucked away between almond trees and olive orchards at over 1,200 meters above sea level. The view over the hills is simply beautiful.


  1. andrew
    14th January 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    A348 Ugijar to Cadiar – Starts out paved and in not too bad a shape but later changes to a very rough condition, although this could change as the EU is currently putting a lot of money into the road and many parts of it are under construction. At the moment, be prepared to deal with dirt roads, detours and lots of hills, too few of them going down! There are no services until you reach Cadiar.

    A345 Cadiar to Venta del Tarugo – You get a small downhill coming out of Cadiar but as soon as the road splits, with the A348 going off to the right and the A345 begins, count on 8km going straight up. The views are beautiful and there is a restaurant when you reach the top, just after the turnoff to Murtas.

    GR443 Venta del Tarugo to Mellado – We only covered a few kilometers of this road but it seems to be a nice ride along the plateau, with a little bit of rolling hills but nothing like the hike up the A345.

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