I thought I´d give you more details for a week or so - from my diary I keep.
Sat 3 April. Sevilla to Maron. 50 kms
A bit tired after a late night and my cycling muscles are not in shape, so got very tired after only 40kms. Getting out of Sevilkla a bit of a pain - had to ride along the freeway. Terrain boring and a cross-wind all day.
Sun 4 April. Maron to Ronda. 82 kms.
Today very different to yesterday: no wind and far more interesting scenery. A couple of long, steady climbs. Pueblos perched atop mountains, or cascading into ravines. Ronda was a surprise: VERY busy with tourists and bigger than I´d anticipated. I got a room with the smallest bathroom I´ve ever seen. When you´re in the shower and close the curtains, you can´t turn around. So you leave the curtains open and the bathroom floods.
Mon 5 April. Ronda. Rest day.
I enjoyed the spectacular beauty of Ronda which spans a deep gorge and peers over the side of the cliffs. I walked to the base of the cliffs and along the valley. Very beautiful with perfect weather (windless and sunny).
Tues 6 April. Ronda to Alora. 72 kms.
What a spectacular ride! The best parts were Ronda-El Burgo anmd Ardales-El Chorro. Granite rock thrown up at different angles. When I got down to the valley at El Chorro the temperature was in the high 20s. I thought El Chorro was over-rated by my guide (Cadogan´s Guide to Spain) as it was blighted with power lines and a substation. The room I had in ALora was great: very large. A truly lovely day - what cycling is all about.
Wed 7 April. Alora to Colmenar. 82 kms.
Started off with a lovely breakfast at the English-owned B&B (bacon, eggs, sausages, toast, etc). Today I met 6 touring cyclists (3 couples) and chatted with 2 of the couples. The chats picked up my mood. A day of 40 kms of climbs and 40 kms of descents - very mountainous.
Thurs 8 April. Colmenar to Salobreña. 115 kms.
A 40 kms downhill ride to the coast at Velez-Malaga. A quick look at the grim beach at Torre del Mar, then a flat, boring ride to Nerja. From Nerja to Almuñecar, however, is beautiful. Thinking of staying here but the place is awful: Beaches of grey sand. Buildings so bland. Beautiful coastline rendered ugly by high-rises cheek to cheek. (getting poetic here for a second). I stayed at Salobreña instead in a great, cheap, pension (Pension San Jose). Then a big meal at the Czech/Spanish restaurant. A big day.
Friday 9 April. Salobreña. Rest day.
It rained all day so decided to stay here. Just eating and resting really. Had some great Tapas for both lunch and dinner.
Sat 10 April. Salobreña to Pampaneira. 58 kms.
Of the 58 kms, 40 were climbing quite steeply - into the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada called Las Alpuharras. One motorist, seeing me climbing the hill, virtually stpooed his car and shouted something encouraging in Spanish (at least I think it was encouraging). Pampaneira is a quaint pueblo perched on the mountain-side, full of tourists. It hailed in the evening, covering the cars and roads for a while.
Sun 11 April. Pampaneira to Ugizar. 60 kms.
It had snowed on the mountains above overnight. I climbed to Trevelez which is just below the snow-line. At the restaurant at Ugizar i met 2 German cyclists and we chatted over beers for 3 hours.
Mon 12 April. Ugizar to Almeria. 88 kms.
A lovely, though cold, morning. A bit of a hangover after the beers. In the afternoon I met 2 Spanish cyslists and we cycled together for about 35 kms to Almeria.
Tues 13 April. Almeria to San Jose. 50 kms.
Do you know the way to.....? A hard slog against a strong head-wind. The first 30 kms terrain were boring too. Stayed in a small room in a camp-ground with friendly owners.
Wed 14 April. San Jose to Sorbas. 62 kms.
A tough day. I was going to ride along the coast but the head-wind put me off, so I rode into the Sierra Alhamilla mountains. Not very inspiring and still windy. Sorbas is an interesting pueblo though, built on a ravine.
Thurs 15 April. Sorbas to Lorca. 108 kms.
Uugh! Sums up my feelings for this day. Grey skies and head-winds. Then when I got to Lorca it started raining. My first impression of Lorca (in the province of Murcia) wasn´t great. The buildings are newer and are non-descript. The staff at the Hotel Felix are friendly, though. Very tired after a hard day.