After a couple of years saying to my friends that it would be a good idea to try, I have finally put my money where my mouth is. The more I talked about it the more it became obvious that I should shut up or do it. So, I am going to do it, because it still seems like a good idea. Other people have done it, and given that I’m never going to climb Everest or some such it seemed to me to be a suitable challenge. And so it is that starting May 16th, hopefully a lovely sunny Saturday morning, I shall begin my cycle ride coast to coast across Spain.
It has taken me a week or more to put the rough route together and to work on the logistics of getting bike and me to Spain, travelling light for 2 and a bit weeks, and then getting me home again, but I’ve sorted it at last. The plane is booked, the ferry home booked, looks like I’m going I guess.
My original idea was to ride south but the difficulties of obtaining a bike box to get my bike home on a plane was proving troublesome. The only answer was to ride north and catch a ferry home, bike chained to some railings on the car deck.
Beginning in Malaga then, here is the route …
May 16th Day 1 – Stage 1: Malaga to Ronda. 102 km
May 17th Day 2 – Stage 2: Ronda to Seville. 128 km
May 18th Day 3 – Seville rest day ( I know! … But you can’t just whip through Seville without spending some time checking it out properly, can you?)
May 19th Day 4 – Stage 3: Seville to Monestario. 90 km
May 20th Day 5 – Stage 4: Monestario to Merida del Campo. 94 km
May 21st Day 6: Stage 5: Merida del Campo to Caceres. 70 km
May 22nd Day 7: Stage 6: Caceres rest day
May 23rd Day 8: Stage 7: Caceres to Plascencia. 80 km
May 24th Day 9: Stage 8: Plascencia to Bejar. 50 km
May 25th Day 10:Stage 9: Bejar to Salamanca. 74 km
May 26th Day 11: Salamanca rest day
May 27th Day 12: Stage 10: Salamanca to Medina. 92 km
May 28th Day 13: Stage 11: Medina to Palenscia. 112 km
May 29th Day 14: Stage 12: Palenscia rest day
May 30th Day 15: Stage 13: Palenscia to Aguilar del Campo. 90 km
May 31st Day 16: Stage 14: Aguilar del Campo to Torrelavega. 70 km
Jun 1st Day 17: Stage 15: Torrelavega to Santander. 25 km ……. Catch the Ferry …..
That’s something in the region of 1100 km.
The route planning was driven by planning rest days in interesting places, distances between finding somewhere to stay, flying into and sailing home from and so on. It is 80% firmed up as to the route that I will take but I have already saved another day in planning so I may make a detour via Zamora if that looks pretty (or somewhere else maybe). I also wanted to avoid Madrid and Cordoba since we were there last year. The ferry actually sails 2 days after my planned arrival in Santander so I have some flexibility.
I will be using the opportunity to try to raise some money for our charity, Chaithanya Orphanage UK, which we set up to help fund the establishment of an orphanage in Andhra Pradesh. More on that later when I will make my case and hopefully persuade you to make a donation.
In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions of places to see,stay, words of advice etc I would love to hear them, particularly if anyone knows of any cycle-friendly stopovers that would be helpful.
For now, much prep is taking place and while the weather is crap I can be found down the gym, pumping iron and sweating like a pig ( not nice). I’m getting quite excited.