We are now three days into our planned month-long micro tour that will take us from Alicante to Algoz on Portugal’s Algarve. Why call it a micro tour? We hope to take a full month to the experience giving us plenty time to dawdle along and enjoy the countryside and towns we come across.
We used Easyjet from Glasgow to Alicante touching down just before 4.30 in the afternoon as planned. I was of course worried about the bikes travelling with us on the flight in rather oversize cardboard boxes – 140x80x25cm – but they came off the oversize baggage carousel in good shape.
It took us just over an hour to reassemble the bikes and get underway. We had chosen a hotel within 20k and reachable by back roads south-west of the airport and this worked well. We arrived in Eleche just as dark fell – but where was the hotel! Luckily Paco, on his Honda cruiser stopped and escorted us direct to our hotel through 20 minutes of heavy rush hour traffic. A true knight in shining armour.
The next day we set out for Jumilla. 85k of steady uphill riding in very hot conditions. Unfortunately Jacqui was on a very bad day and we crawled along with frequent stops as she suffered recurring bouts of nausea and cramps. We tried to find accommodation to stop in, but failed. Luckily a can of coke finally revived her and we romped in over the final 25 km. We arrived, relieved, but exhausted.
We celebrated with a short day from Jumilla to Hellín and were rewarded with a splendid days riding through valleys and vineyards – at one point with squadrons of swifts proving escorts.
We were so taken with our hotel in Hellín we decided to stay on for a day to fine tune our planning and bike setup. We have a couple of new bits of kit with us, but I will save telling of them for another post.