Day Twelve

What a great ride I had today, ticked all the boxes - scenic, twisty and downhill (well, the first part of it). The weather improved considerably as the day went on and reached 25c. The ride today was Bejar to Plasasencia about 60 kms. It hugged the main motorway A66 as well as criss-crossing the Via del La Plata footpath. Barely need to look at the map as it was all on one straight road. To get into Plasasencia was again uphill and by now it was extremely hot. Arrived there about 4 pm. Now I have this issue - stay or carry-on. I was now three days behind my schedule. Because the next section was going to be hard (mostly desert and off-road) I wanted to do this section to Meridia in one go. Wondered around the town for ages, could not find anywhere suitable for me to stay that was not a multi-storey type hotel (plenty of them) by 7ish was still unsettled and feeling guilty about not carrying on this afternoon, when I came across the bus station - fatal really. Anyway I was on ‘it’ and 'it' went all the way to Seville.

Out of town the Spanish roads were quiet and made for excellent cycling

Arrived there at 11.00 at night - during the journey went through extremely heavy rain. It was not a good first impression to have off Seville - apart from the rain I was now in at a bus station at 11 at night - what now? I basically, did not have a clue to where I was in relation to the city centre. Luckily came across a cheap hotel just down the street. The room was tiny and was windowless except for a tiny louvred slot. It would do - I’d find somewhere else to stay tomorrow. Could hear torrential rain running out from a broken gutter all night.

Passed through some very scenic places - this is Bano-de-Montemayor.

Day Thirteen

First full-day in Seville. First job get out and get some breakfast. A quick walk round the area soon confirmed I was not exactly in the main tourist area, there was lots of ‘ethnic’ 24hr shops . It also had a certain buzz about it and more importantly I felt very comfortable walking around. Sat and watched the early morning news and Southern Spain had been badly hit by the weather 10 people were killed and cars and houses had been swept away in Malaga (only about 100 kms away). Spanish TV also showed something that the BBC would never show - there was thousands of dead pigs all piled up in the mud where the floods had swept through their barns. The local news also talked about Seville - this appeared to the first rain it had for 6 months!

Not all the buildings in Seville were old. This is the market. However, most of the other modern buildings remained unfinished!

The biggest rain shelter in Spain.

Seville is a great city and the old quarter was worthy of a days walkabout. I spent sometime in Seville Cathedral - mainly to get out the now persistent rain - unfortunately so did every other tourist currently wondering around Seville. It did not stop once all day. The decision to stay put was an easy one to make. I made a half-hearted attempted to find another place but decided to stay in my little windowless cell. I sat all evening there watching bull fighting on the telly. It had recently been brought back on TV having been stopped. It was very interesting and just as the final stabbing was to take place it cut back to the studio where there was ‘experts’ opinions spouting forth. I hold no great personal beliefs about this but the arrogance of the matador really got my back-up and so wanted to see the bull inflict some damage on the arrogant sod!