making it east: over the meseta central


It was two weeks between showers (which equates to a lot of wet wipes!) and the arid rocky landscape of inland Spain offered little in the way of watercourses as we descended down off the central plateau towards the Mediterranean coast.


Amidst a cornucopia of abandoned wells, tractors sewed spring seeds into the dusty morning fields and we rubbed shoulders among farmers during their lunchtime breaks, in bland but noisy cafes; as they consumed bottles of red -perhaps the real reason for siestas- we geared up for the day ahead with shots of caffeine and banana chocolate sandwiches.

Our ride out of the Meseta Central took us down through agricultural fields and between craggy gorges that offered the opportunity for long periods of freewheeling…

At Requena, in anticipation of 2 days’ rain and wind, we loaded up on extra provisions and nestled close to hay bales- the rain didn’t come to much but we enjoyed a brief day’s rest from the early morning routine of packing up and moving on, as well as chance to get the games out.


Along the way the boys have spotted Griffin vultures and Imperial eagles, as well as what we think ?? is the critically endangered Northern Bald ibis: recently re-introduced to Spain to boost African numbers in drastic decline.

On the road, bastardized stories of Hemingway’s old man and the sea have been re-created into lengthy afternoon tales, along with adventurous recounts about Scott, Shackleton and Hillary…. such are the stories that motivate little legs on a bike!

DSC01289Closing in on the Med we lost the influential tail wind of the Atlantic, eventually finding ourselves cycling past citrus orchards; their tangy smells wafting past our handlebars, until, just as we neared Pucol, the shout of another Monk whoop went out: the sea was at last in sight.

A month after leaving the west coast of Spain we’d rolled across to the Mediterranean’s east. A full moon was only day’s away from rising over the coast (perfect for Dylan’s spotting scope) but more importantly we’d reached water – it was time for a wash!


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