Friday, 27 December 2013

Day 50 - Almeiras to Malaga

Alarm went off at 5.30 I woke up around 6 started getting ready as eager to get day done and looking forward to Malaga, the others were up at around 7. Tom went for swim at 7.15 which annoyed me as I was virtually ready to go. Then Mark had a shower which frustrated me even more as it was time to go. It got to about 7.45 and Mark was still not ready and I had really had enough of waiting so just pedalled off despite his protests. Chris and Tom joined me straight away very closely followed by Michelle. At the start of the day there was very nice weather and coastal roads Mark soon caught up. We stopped for coffee/food - I stopped for a bit then pushed on alone as the others were taking too long. I found a supermarket about 15 or 20k later so got more rice, water, baguette and chocolate. I waited outside eating looking out for others saw Tom So called him over. We had a quick food session then pushed on. It was a hard climb out of town up a cliff road. We passed Michelle who was struggling half way up. Just after passing Michelle Tom got a broken spoke. We called the others to let them know - they agreed to wait at a petrol station ahead. Michelle pushed on past us. The broken spoke was on the cassette side of the wheel so we couldn't fix it. We disconnected brake so the bowed wheel could spin freely and tied the broken spoke to the adjacent spoke before putting all Tom's heavy items on my bike. I had to take 3 tents 4 pannier bags and very gingerly pedalled uphill, the weight making it hard to control. It took all my Concentration to pedal in a straight line. We made slow but steady progress and eventually made it to the petrol station to meet the others. Chris bought an adjustable spanner then realised he couldn't find the cassette removal nut so we had to push on 10-15k to the next big town where the nearest bike shop was. We split the weight evenly between me, Mark and Chris and then rode at a pedestrian pace to the bike shop. We found the shop after asking several locals. Chris and Tom sorted this while me, Mark and Michelle waited nearby and had some food. Probably an hour and a half later Chris and tom returned with a successful bargain fix (about 7 euros I think). We pushed on straight away as this delay meant we could only have minimal breaks for the rest of the day. We stopped in McDonald's later for first wifi session since Salou and met a pilot who was riding a super light Cervelo bike worth several thousand pounds. After probably an hour or so we left. Mark was nagging as he was eager to get to Malaga. After finishing our conversation with the Cervelo guy we left. Michelle stayed longer as was engrossed in conversation/messaging. The climb out of town was very hard hot and relentlessly uphill with little shade. we had our doubts Michelle would be able to manage this. With about 30 or 40 k to go we had a break in a petrol station, all of us in good spirits really looking forward to Malaga and the potential night out. Just before Malaga we took wrong turn so ended up going uphill inland on busy road. There was a bit of confusion navigating our way to the centre - we ended up cycling on a path the wrong way down one way street. Eventually we found the right road and pedalled into town. Michelle managed to get there before us as had left not long after we did and went the right way - we were very impressed with this. After a lot of deliberation where to eat we decided on a pizza restaurant over the road from the seafront. The waitress said 2 meals would be too much for me lol. I had carbonara and shared a pizza with Chris, I also had a beer beforehand. I was still fairly hungry after. Finally my 5 euro per day budget had failed. I fell asleep in whilst waiting for the bill. We then crossed over the road to find the nearest suitable place to sleep on the beach. We located a nice quiet spot under some umbrellas. Mark wandered off to check out Malaga nightlife - I was far too tired to join him. I fell asleep pretty quickly, before midnight with the plan to be pedalling at 8 tomorrow.

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