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  • campbell987

Leaden Legs

Updated: May 6, 2023

Stage 11: Seville -> Arcos de la Frontera 85 km

Good start out of the Seville maze; only ‘lost’ David once (admittedly, immediately out of the gate as it were). Followed cycle paths to get out of town, then progressively less busy roads until we reach agricultural service road, about 15 km from hotel start.

Quiet road continues through industrial-scale cultivated fields of cotton, massive olive groves, vineyards) to reach Los Palacios ... morning coffee. Very hazy day, thin cloud cover which is a relief from the direct sun over past several days cycling. We can see range of hills ahead; presumably the Sierra de Grazalema which we’ll need to get over or through.

Andalucían Plain gives way after a couple of hours to rolling foothills, with curves in the road to break the previous monotony. Stop for lunch at Gibalin crossroads; pretty tiny. Surprised (a very welcome surprise) upon leaving with truly leaden legs to see that Arcos is only another 13 km. Last 2-3 km seemed straight uphill, mind.

Too early to check into pre-booked hotel, so adjourn nearby for obligatory cerveza.

Eventually return to a truly charming hotel; really intriguing cliff-top place, very old world Spanish. Stephania forgives me (I think) for getting chain oil all over her white settee while quaffing the welcoming glass of sherry. We both must be tired, as both crashed out pretty quickly after respective showers.

Re-surfaced ... walked about town a bit ... cobbled, narrow laneways, narrow even for bicycle. Returned to hotel’s rooftop terrazzo for sunset; while a bit disappointing in terms of colour, lovely to see flocks of returning pallid swifts(?) to cliffside roosts and snowy egrets(?) on river below. Very serene

Back out for so-so dinner; good Rioja, though!

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