See the section for Spain of the Trento Bike Pages

A Tour of Spain

By Raj Subramani ( at Newcastle, England, 19 May 1995


Ian Applegarth

Claude Labrie

Raj Subramani



If there is one single thing that made our trip to Spain worthwhile then it was the people. To put it simply they are the tops. Maybe because of the contrast from what we were used to, I do not know, but they do come across as warm, friendly, easy going people. This is especially true of small Spanish villages where everyday seems like a Sunday.

People seemed very patient with our attempts at Spanish and do try to figure out why you are gesticulating so wildly. Biking and especially touring seem to evoke a lot of curiosity and we did get a lot of encouragement.

For all the negative feedback we got before we left about Spanish drivers, I think they were absolutely super. They would never attempt to overtake you on the same side of the road. If the road is not free (due to traffic or due to blind turns) I found that they rather trudge behind you, wait till its all clear and overtake on the other side of the road (this also include 20 tonners).

Usually you get a warning hoot from a vehicle that is following you which means that its about to overtake you. 3 or 4 consecutive hoots means a thumbs-up sign or something that meant "keep up the good work".

Their easy going attitude also unfortunately extends to the disposal of waste so don't get too disconcerted if you come across the occasional fridge-freezer or washing m/c.


Two of us were vegetarians. This fortunately did not turn out to be much of a problem. Our lunches comprised mostly of baguettes and cheese, fruits, juice, chocolates, cakes, coffee etc. Dinners were Pasta wit Cheese, rice with veg. sauce, soups and later mostly of Bocardillo (two ll in Spanish is a y so it is pronounced as Bocariyyo) with Tortilla Francesa (the usual omelette) or Tortilla Espana (omelette with potatoes) and plenty of Salad.

If you eat meat and/or sea food, well, its paradise on Earth.

Food is cheap (I am comparing it with here in Britain), a whole variety of fruits and vegetables (and fresh). I really loved what they called Zumo de Melocoton (peach juice). Bread and cheese were cheap too. We used to spend on average something like 4000 ptas. to 4500 ptas. on food and drinks a day and they was plenty of it (for the three of us). Finally excellent wines & cognac at very good prices.


Well lets say its hot, damn hot!!. However it gets very cool & pleasant in the north (the Pyrenees). We are after all talking about August/September here.


(Our exchange rate was approx. 200 pesetas to a pound). Cost could vary according to your choice. If you really want to skimp you could get by on 10 pounds (sterling) a day. But 15 should be more than adequate. At 20 pounds a day, you are talking luxury.

The camping rates were 450 ptas. per tent and 450 ptas. per person. We had a three man tent so it worked out to 1800 ptas. total on average. There are a few campsites that maybe more expensive (I can think of only one, the one at Ainsa, which charged something like 2700 ptas.).

Youth hostels were about 1000 ptas. per person per night. Valencia was a bit more expensive (1400 ptas.).

Pension and hostel prices varied but even the most expensive one we stayed at worked out to a total of 5000 ptas. for all three of us. The average would be around 1200 to 1500 ptas. per person, here.

Campsites more often than not are adequate as they come equipped with all mod. cons. However once in a while the desire to sleep in a proper bed can be quite overwhelming.

Finally, we found that youth hostels particularly in small towns are not reliable (two of them turned out to be closed when the guide said they should be open).


If you are starting at a big city it maybe advisable to stay there for a day or alternatively try and get your hands on the Camping map issued by the tourist office at the earliest opportunity. It was one of the most useful maps we could have had.

Try and buy the local Youth Hostel map from the nearest youth hostel as it is on a much larger scale, more detailed, and much more accurate (as far as locations are concerned) compared to the one you get from the International Youth Hostel guide book.

Try and get your hand on the Michelin maps for the regions your are touring/plan to tour as they are very much more detailed and give you an option of getting off the big "N" (national) roads where traffic is heavy and riding is not particularly pleasant.

Make sure that your insurance covers your bike as well. It maybe worth paying the extra bit to get it covered against damage and/or theft.

Most important of all if you can speak Spanish (even just enough to get by) you'd enjoy it much more than otherwise.




Communal gear weighed around 3.5 to 4 kg per person. Personal gear weighed just about the same (or maybe just over when you include 2 litres of water). On the whole total gear weight per person was below 10 kg. and believe me this didn't happen by accident. We all had paniers in the back and a rucksack, almost empty, on top of the carrier strapped in place by a bungee cord. A conscientious decision was taken not to carry any additional paniers than those above. Anything that did not fit in these turned out to be something we never needed. The empty rucksack came in handy while shopping at places. The empty carry-bags were useful to keep wet clothes in and dried them as we went along.


The total distance done in a day maybe more than the actual distance added up from place to place as there was a lot of searching and looking done at various points during the day. The road number and the approximate distance between the 2 points is given in brackets (whenever possible) and the peaks of the climbs whenever applicable. A few comments are given and then an overall summary is provided (if required).

Abbreviations & Notations used:

Total Distance done during that day in Kilometres.
Average Speed in Kilometres per hour.
Maximum Speed in Kilometres per hour.
>> <<
Indicate big climbs, the peaks of which is given in metres above sea level.

Day 1 (Monday 30th August 1993) : Alicante - Denia.

Dist: 114.9kms
Alicante - La Villa Joisa (N-332, 35kms).
Stopped at Alicante and shopped at the SuperMarket (SuperM) for breakfast.
La Villa Joisa - Benidorm (N-332, 10kms).
Benidorm - Altea (N-332, 10kms).
Took a break from the afternoon sun at a beach. Had a minor problem (my chain snapped) so had to re-link using the chain splitter.
Altea - Ondara (N-332, 38 kms).
Ondara - Denia (C-something, 8 kms).
This is where the YHA Map failed. The map shows cities in completely wrong positions. We had to head to Denia where there was a campsite.
The last stretch from Altea to Denia involves some steady climbing. We never wanted to do so much in the first day as we hadn't slept in the last 36 hours. This was principally because we relied too much on the YHA map (that come along with the Guide book). The N-332 is a very busy coastal road and places like Benidorm with high rise appartments are not particularly pleasing to look at.

Day 2 (Tuesday 31st August 1993): Denia - Valencia.

Dist: 110.57 kms, AvS: 21.2 kmph, MxS: 34.5 kmph
Denia - Oliva (N-332, 23 kms).
Oliva - Gandia ((N-332, 8kms).
Stopped at Gandia for lunch. Shopped at SuperM for food. Good city centre at Gandia to sit and eat.
Gandia - Sueca (N-332, 25kms).
Sueca - Valencia (N-332, 40kms).
The terrain was pretty flat all day. The roads were again busy. Got used to the smell of exhaust fumes and dead dogs on the road. At Valencia found the tourist info. centre at 6:30pm. They spoke English and French. Directed us to the Youth Hostel. The Info. centre is not sign posted properly so had to ask at a Hotel for it. Also got the camping map for Spain with all campsites marked with the class given in the reverse.

Day 3 (Wednesday 1st September 1993): Valencia - Orpesa.

Dist: 110 kms
Valencia - Sagunto (N-332, 19kms).
Had some breakfast there. Good town centre there to sit and have a meal.
Sagunto - Nules (N-332, 23kms).
Nules - Castellon de la Plana (C-236, 17kms).
Had lunch in what first looked like a nice park at Castellon. But as the afternoon wore the park got seedier and so left. Be watchful (esp. against theft here). From here decided that we had enough of the coast and decided to head off inland to Cabanes where the map said was a campsite.
Castellon de la Plana - Cabanes (C-238, 25kms, >> << 305m)
At Cabanes we found the the nearest campsite was in fact at Orpesa along the coast (and downhill all the way after a short climb). First went to see the Roman Arch which was about 3 kms from Cabanes (inland).
Cabanes - Orpesa (12kms).
The terrain remained flat except from Castellon when we decided to leave the coast. However we had to return back to the coast in the evening. The campsite was by the sea so could even have a swim. There was a SuperM where we shopped for our evening dinner.

Day 4 (Thursday 2nd September 1993): Orpesa - Morella.

Dist: 100kms, MxS: 57kmph
Orpesa - Cabanes (12kms)
Climbed all the way up again. Determined to leave the coast for good.
Cabanes - Les Coves de Vinroma (C-238, 23kms).
Had lunch here after shopping at a SuperM (nice friendly folks). One bike with broken spoke. Did not carry any spare and local bike shop hadn't any. (The chap tried his best to help though).
Les Coves de Vinroma - San Mateu del Maestrat (C-238, 16kms).
No luck (for spare spokes here).
San Mateu - Morella (C- 238, 39kms, >> << 784m)
The climb is quite steady from San Mateu. After the peak its easy going to Morella. But the town itself is situated inside a fort and the last bit involves some very steep climbing.

Morella had no campsite. There was a rudimentary site. Fortunately there was a tap nearby as there was some construction work going on near this site. Went into town to buy food. The town centre is very nice.

There is a good bakery in town. Do not miss there croissants in the morning (esp. the chocolate ones!!). On the whole a lovely place (except for a few modern structures that seem to spoil the beauty of the old fortress).

Day 5 (Friday 3rd September 1993) : Morella - Caspe

Dist: 124.2 kms, AvS: 20.4 kmph, MxS: 50.5 kmph
Morella - Monoroyo (N-232, 33kms, >> << 1250m)
Stopped at Monoroyo for lunch.
Monoroyo - Alcaniz (N-232, 37 kms)
Bought spare spokes for the bikes at Alcaniz. (Reached at 3 pm but had to wait till 4pm when the shop opened). Good city centre with a very large and old church.
Alcaniz - Caspe (N-232, 29 + 14 = 43kms)
This route follows a very dry and arid landscape. Almost like a place where you might shoot a spaghetti western. The campsite is 14 kms from Caspe town. Bought food at town (to cook at campsite). Campsite situated by a lake and quite nice.

Terrain mostly flat or downhill. By evening I guess we were all properly qualified as "stinky bicyclist" as our last shower was two days ago at the Orpesa campsite. I was glad that the others did not run out when we entered the SuperM to shop for stuff.

Day 6 (Saturday 4th September 1993) : Caspe - Balaguer

Dist: 121.77, AvS: 22.1 kmph, MxS: 55.5 kmph
Caspe - Mequinenza (C-231, 22kms)
Stopped there to fill our water bottles. The terrain is full of ups and downs but no major climbs. There is a campsite here which was not mentioned in any of the maps (neither in the camping map of Spain).
Mequinenza - Masalcorreig (C-231, 15kms)
Stopped there for some eats. Met an inquisitive gentleman who asked where we were going. Offered us fruits (which presumably he grows in his backyard). We must have looked a pathetic site!!.
Masalcorreig - Fraga (C-231, N-11, 7kms)
Fraga - Lleida (N-11, 31kms)
The road out of Fraga climbs steadily out. It was hot (very hot!!) when we left Fraga and found some respite at a fruit shop (strategically situated at the top). Lunch at Lleida.
Lleida - Balaguer (24+8 = 32kms)
The campsite at Balaguer is 8 kms away from town. The man who runs it was very helpful (re. route we must take into the Pyrenees etc.).

The campsite at Balaguer passes through a lot of fruit plantations and is situated at quite a nice spot. The restaurant was quite full that night, obviously a popular place for the locals.

Day 7 (Sunday 5th September 1993) : Balaguer - Baro

Dist: 86.42kms, AvS: 20.8kmph, MxS: 57kmph
Balaguer - Tremp (C-147, 55kms, >> << 912m)
Pass through two tunnels on this route, both unlit but short so did not cause any problems. Being Sunday there were plenty of Motorbikes on the road. Stopped at a restaurant for lunch. Passes through some spectacular rocks (full of climbers, being Sunday) not to be missed. 5kms of unfinished roads before Tremp but guess it will get done shortly.
Tremp - Baro (C-147, 31kms)
Actually wanted to head to Sort but decided to stop at Baro. Good campsite by the side of a river. Good bars nearby for beers. Tried Spanish coffee (which is more like Irish coffee), has coffee with whisky and cream on top. The route from Balaguer to Baro is quite spectacular. Especially impressive are the massive rocks the wall either sides of the road. Tremp-Baro route follows a valley, along a river and is fairly flat.

Day 8 (Monday 6th September 1993) : Baro - Arties

Dist: 83.81kms, AvS 18.6kmph, MxS: 51kmph
Baro - Sort (C-147, 8kms)
Good pastry shop at Sort (full of sticky, gooey stuff!!). Cashed some Travellers cheques and posted a few cards.
Sort - Rialb de Noguera (C-142, 4kms)
Stopped here and shopped for some fruit, bread etc. Met at old gentleman outside the shop who looked at us, the bikes and the smiled pointing up-up (obviously telling us daft idiots what to expect, magic mayhem!!).
Rialb de Noguera - Valencia d'Aneu (C-142, 31kms, >> << 1500m)
Stopped a few kilometres out of Rialb to eat. Plenty of blackberry bushes with berries on them on the road side. At Valencia d'Aneu stopped at a Cafe for eats. Got served some very strong Spanish cheese.
Valencia d'Aneu - Pto. de Bonaigua (C-142, 7kms, 2070m)
This was the highest climb we were to do. Really long and winding road to the top that goes on forever. But the valleys are quite spectacular to look at. Not to be missed.
Pto. de Bonaigua - Salardu (C-142, 26kms)
Salardu - Arties (C-142, 6kms)
The road climbs down to from Pto. de Bonaigua but there are a few smaller climbs that go up and down after that up to Arties (smaller when compared to 2070 maybe). At Arties could not find a petrol (or Gas) station so had to settle for a cold meal. Of course it may not be amusing carrying petrol upto 2070m anyway. The real climb to Pto. de Bonaigua begins after that Cafe at 1500m.

Another thing I must mention here is the scenery including the type of houses that you see as you come down from Pto. de Bonaigua towards Salardu. It all looks very "alpine" and very different from the rest of Spain.

Day 9 (Tuesday 7th September 1993) : Arties - Ainsa

Dist: 127.59kms, AvS: 21.5kmph, MxS:51.5kmph, Time: 5h35m
Arties - Viella (C-142, 8kms)
Its a steady climb to Viella
Viella - Vilaller (N-230, 23kms)
Passed through a 5kms long tunnel. The first 4kms is a climb, inside. The weather was alright when we went in but was misty and wet when we came out. (Probably went through a time warp and landed in England!).
Vilaller - Castejon de Sos (N-230/C-144, 34kms, >> << 1407m, >> << 1470m)
The road first climbs upto 1407m and then drops. The 2nd climb goes to 1470m. Had lunch at Castejon de Sos.
Castejon de Sos - Campo (C-139, 21kms)
The sections follows a valley.
Campo - Ainsa (C-140, 32+3=35kms)
Shopped at local SuperM for food. Campsite is almost 3kms away (though it says 1km).

The passage through the tunnel (5km one) was an experience in itself. Had to use wetted handkerchiefs as pollution masks. We did not carry lights so used the two torches (on the trailing bike) to indicate our presence. But Spanish drivers are very considerate. One guy even honked and gave us the thumbs-up sign. The valley between Castejon de Sos & Campo goes through a gorge with huge imposing rocks on either sides, really awesome.

Day 10 (Wednesday 8th September 1993) : Ainsa - Jaca

Dist: 102kms
Ainsa - Boltana (N-260, 9kms)
A few broken spokes and a puncture, but all under control.
Boltana - Broto (N-260, 30kms)
Broto - Biescas (C-140, 26kms, >> <<1215m, >> << 1423m)
Biescas - Jaca (C-140, 30kms)
The 1423m climb ends with a tunnel. The road after that continuously rises and falls. Stayed at the Youth Hostel at Jaca, quite a good one too. Jaca seems like a nice city with a very good tourist information centre (spoke French other than Spanish). At Jaca had to make a policy decision on whether to head westwards to the Picos or to head back South again. The cost of heading West were quite high (would have had to get the train back and was working out to over 100 pounds). So decided to head southwards.

Day 11 (Thursday 9th September 1993) : Jaca - Sanguesa

Dist: 85.6kms, AvS: 22.4kmph, MxS: 52.5kmph, Time:3h48m
Jaca - Yesa (C-134/N-240, 66kms)
This was a long stretch that we did almost non-stop. The terrain was almost flat, just a few rise and falls. We passed a large river which but for a small patch of water was largely dry and looked very much like a desert.
Yesa - Sanguesa (C-127, 11kms)
Yesa was really the end of the Pyrenees and almost the end of our journey westwards. It was decision time now, whether to head Westwards or go down South. The decision to head south was made and we left for Sanguesa.

Once could almost sense a touch of disappointment in the air. Probably a mixture of having to leave the Pyrenees and not being able to continue westwards. But Sanguesa lifted our spirits to no end. It was an excellent campsite (almost empty except for 2 other tents). The town (we went there to shop at the SuperM was bubbling with activity. A fiesta was to be held there shortly I guess and preparations were on). The bar at the campsite was good and spirits lifted our spirits and we even laughed!.

Day 12 (Friday 10th September 1993) : Sanguesa - Borja

Dist: 146.0kms, AvS: 23kmph, MxS: 53kmph, Time:6h20m
Sanguesa - Sos del Rey Catolico (C-127, 17kms)
Sos del Rey Catolico - Sadaba (C-127, 25kms, >> << 856m)
Just after Sos there is a climb to Pto. de Sos. At the top one can look back and see the peaks of the Pyrenees stretch far and wide, bid adios to them.
Sadaba - Ejea de los Caballeros (C-127, 26kms)
Ejea - Tauste (C-127, 26kms)
Tauste - Borja (C-127/N-122, 28kms)
From Sadaba to Ejea and then onto Tauste is flat and we finished that by afternoon (it was still cool) and the landscape was still green. From Tauste onwards it was quite dry uneventful surroundings and got very hot. The original intention was to make it to somewhere like Ricla.

But at Magallon (22kms from Tauste) we stopped (out of curiosity) to examine some holes or caves with on a hill with doors on them, under a church. Presumably used by monks or hermits (long since abandoned). A quick check of the YHA guide told us that there was a Youth Hostel at Borja (open in September) which was just 6kms away. Borja itself has a lovely town centre. We were told that the YH was 4kms from there on the top of a hill. Climbed up there only to find it locked. No one knew who the caretaker was (there was a wedding in a church nearby) and the time was now 7 pm. The only option was to go back and hope that we find some place for the night in Borja (which we did). They even let us keep our bikes in our room. We did have a nice night out in Borja but the fact remained that YH guides were NOT to be trusted.

The total distance from Sanguesa to Borja was between 122 to 129 kms but we had to do another 17kms inside this town thanks to the YHA.

Day 13 (Saturday 11th September 1993) : Borja - Nuevalos

Dist: 113.43kms, AvS: 19.9kmph, MxS: 54.5kmph, Time: 5h42m
Borja - Tabuenca (Z-322, 15kms)
Though terrain full of ups and downs, the scenery is good and the road was very very quiet.
Tabuenca - Illueca (Z-322, 28kms, >> << 902m)
Its a lovely view at the top at Pto. de la Chavola. Lunched here.
Illueca - Savinan (Z-322, 16kms)
Savinan - Calatayud (Z-322, 20kms)
Small road that passes through very narrow sections, through a valley. Stopped at Calatayud for a coffee and decided to head to Nuevalos (a better "classed" campsite).
Calatayud - Nuevalos (C-202, 25kms)
The road initially flat then gradually but continuously rises towards Nuevalos (also started experiencing head wind).

The section between Savinan and Calatayud is quite fascinating. The road continues along a valley, the hill on both sides being quite barren. However there a green belt of fruit plantations all along the valley (well irrigated) creating a sharp contrast. The road is narrow and winding. It sometimes disappears straight into a wall making it a guessing game as to where it would go from there. It almost runs parallel to a railway line along this stretch and ends with a climb that descends into Calatayud.

Day 14 (Sunday 12th September 1993) : Nuevalos - Orea

Dist: 112.28kms, AvS: 16.7kmph, MxS: 40kmph, Time:6h42m
Nuevalos - Molina de Aragon (C-202, 47kms)
Passed the Monasterio de Piedra just after Nuevalos. The road climbs straight up after Nuevalos and then flattens at the top. Winds were gusting upto 40mph breaking momentum completely and making life hard. We did not buy food at Nuevalos and being Sunday (realized it too late) and shop being closed had only some cheese left which we feasted on. But there was still 30 odd kms to go. The water we took from the campsite tasted something like lube oil. We reached a village on the way where we at least got good water. We had some (dry) pasta left and were left to eating that till Molina. I still have some of that pasta in my Bum-bag as a sign of gratitude!.
Molina de Aragon - Terzaga (C-202, 22kms)
Big lunch at Molina, made us feel almost human again. Stocked up with cakes and chocolate and headed off.
Terzaga - Checa (C-202, 20kms)
Two climbs on the way but were sheltered from the winds by the hills and the trees so the going got better.
Checa - Orea (C-202, 9+6 = 15kms)
It was 8pm when we reached Orea and the YH was 6kms away from town. Had supper there first and set off to the YH at about 8:30pm. It started getting progressively darker and we started going deeper into the Pine forest at this point. Finally we could see some lights in the distance (turned out to be a campsite). The YH was 200m away and was CLOSED again!!, though the guide book said it should be open. So went back to the campsite. Wondered what would we have done if there wasn't a campsite nearby. Pitched our tent at about 9:45 pm.

The winds were really bad today. The run to Molina involves a good climb to the top where it was flat and barren so there was nothing to break the wind which hit us straight head on. The average speed was therefore quite slow (as low as 12-15 kmph) for this entire 47 km run. It was quite a cold night and a very cold morning. We were told that this was quite unusual for this time of the year.

Day 15 (Monday 13th September 1993) : Orea - Mariana

Dist: 107.42kms, AvS: 21kmph, MxS: 59kmph, Time:5h08m
Orea - Greigos (TE-902, 28kms >> << 1650m)
Route goes through a Pine forest and is quite nice. It was so cold that one had to put socks on the hands (as mittens).
Greigos - Guadalaviar (6kms)
The winds were strong today again and this stretch was open so had to struggle a bit.
Guadalaviar - Una (39kms, >> << 1790m)
The climb to 1790m is called El Portillo and is one of the steepest climbs that we had experienced in Spain. The road here make no pretence of winding and goes straight up, highly recommended for masochists. Before Una we had a small accident in which I ploughed into the bike in front of me and laid sprawled across the road. Fortunately no severe damage occurred to the bikes or to me (lets get our priorities right here), one broken spoke quickly replaced and just a few bruises to justify taking our first-aid kit. Had a delayed lunch (or bite) at Una.
Una - Villalba El Salto del la Sierra (CU-921, 14kms)
There is a short climb after Una with a large descent into Villalba.
Villalba - Mariana (CU-921, 15kms)
Spotted a campsite at Mariana and stopped there (instead of heading to Cuenca acc. to the original plan).

The ride through the Sierra de Albarracin in the morning, through the Pine forests is very interesting. The winds were up to their old tricks again today but the trees helped a lot (as a shield).

Day 16 (Tuesday 14th September 1993) : Mariana - Motilla de Palancar

Dist: 106.21kms, AvS: 22.4kmph, MxS: 50kmph, Time:4h44m
Mariana - Cuenca (CU-921, 11kms)
Reached Cuenca at 11am. Had breakfast and wanted to cash some travellers cheques (that seemed to take for ever). Completed that by 1pm. Searched for Maps (we had lost our Map of Spain and were looking for Michelin map for this region). Could only get a road map (in book form) from a Petrol Station. Had lunch and it was nearly 2:30pm by the time we set off from Cuenca.
Cuenca - Arcas (N-320/ , 12kms)
The road climbs out of Cuenca and then flattens out completely from there on.
Arcas - Hontecillas (34kms)
Headed towards Valverde de Jucar from Arcas. About 4kms from Valverde, turned off towards Hontecillas.
Hontecillas - Olmedilla de Alarcon (24kms)
According to the campsite map, there is one here at Olmedilla. We reached there to find that it had closed a year ago (met a Dutchman on his BMW there in a similar predicament). So decided to head to Motilla and find a room there.
Olmedilla de Alarcon - Motilla del Palancar ( /N-111, 18kms)
Found a Pension at Motilla (he had a garage for us to store our bikes in).

The winds were blowing for the 3rd day today but fortunately not as strong as Sunday.

Day 17 (Wednesday 15th September 1993) : Motilla del Palancar - Ossa de Monteil

Dist: 140.54kms, AvS: 20.3kmph, MxS: 45kmph, Time:6h54m
Motilla del Palancar - La Roda (C-311/ , 44kms)
In the morning found that one of the Cycle pumps had been lost (?). So had to buy a new one at Motilla. Pedals developed a click so had to buy a socket spanner at a hardware store at Motilla. Left town at 10:45am. Lunch at La Roda.
La Roda - Munera (C-312, 34kms)
Munera - El Bonillo (C-3.214, 12kms)
El Bonillo - Ossa de Montiel (23 + 7 = 30kms)
At Ossa de Montiel at 7:45 p.m. found the campsite was 7kms away. Reached the campsite (a small climb up and a big drop down) to find it locked!. We knew of another site being about 4kms away from here, so headed of there. Climbed up again and began to get dark by then. Found a Hostel there instead where we stayed for the night.

The folks at the Hostel were very friendly. Seemed like a place with a lot of rooms and we were the only people around that night. The region is a wine producing region so I guess it fills up during seasons time and this is where all the "pickers" stay. The winds was not too bad today.

Day 18 (Thursday 16th September 1993) : Ossa de Monteil - Riopar

Dist: 119.48kms, AvS:22.6kmph, MxS:60kmph, Time:5h16m
Ossa de Monteil - Villahermosa (27kms)
Had to climb back to Ossa. Before leaving the hostel my front brake cable snapped so had to be replaced. Its a straight flat run to Villahermosa. Lunch.
Villahermosa - Alcaraz (N-322, 40kms)
This run was flat and the road was good so the going was fast. At Alcaraz rang up Alicante to reconfirm tickets. It was noon and was hot. Here we were told to head off along the N-322 to Reolid and take the road from Reolid to Riopar (supposedly a new road and was not indicated on our map).
Alcaraz - Reolid (N-322, 11kms)
On this road we completed our 2000th kilometre.
Reolid - Salobre (5kms)
Stopped at Salobre town centre. Good small village with inquisitive old folks.
Salobre - Riopar (22kms, >> << 1480m)
The last 500m of the climb becomes suddenly steep.

Riopar has a campsite which was not mentioned on our camping map (we were told that was because it was a new site). When we put our tent up we were the only people there (joined later by a couple in their car). Had to go into town for dinner, a 20 min. walk. Finally no head wind problem.

Day 19 (Friday 17th September 1993) : Riopar - Socovos

Dist: 69.9kms
Riopar - Elche de la Sierra (C-415, 45kms, >> << 1140m)
Steady climb up after Riopar. The next bit on the top is flat. Found a lot of wobble in my frame before reaching Elche. Discovered a crack in my frame there. Tried to find a welder but there was a fiesta in town so couldn't find any. Finally with the help of a local chap located a welder's house. His son welded the frame (but refused to take any payments). Decided to stay here and watch the Bull fight in the evening. No rooms available. So hung around and at 5:30 p.m. the bull fight began at the town centre. Its something to be experienced (though I still can't reconcile to it). The bull is killed in the end with a knife pushed through its head.
Elche de la Sierra - Socovos (C-415, 23kms)
Left Elche at about 7 p.m. to the next town to find a room for the night. Found a pension at Socovos (the owner had a store room for us to keep the bikes in).

All in all it was an eventful day. It was stroke of luck that we could get the frame welded. The bull fight was an experience in itself. Its something thats enjoyed by everyone of all age. I personally find it quite barbaric but then thats my opinion.

Day 20 (Saturday 18th September 1993) : Socovos - Crevillent

Dist: 132kms
Socovos - Cieza (C-415/C-3.314, 59kms)
The morning was cloudy and cool. The route passed through a lot of grape plantations. Had to watch the road even more carefully so as not to stress the weld too much. Lunch at Cieza.
Cieza - Fortuna (N-301 , 34kms)
It poured down with rain for an hour, after we left Cieza (got soaking wet). Stopped at a village before Fortuna as it started getting quite hot and humid in the afternoon.
Fortuna - Abanilla (8kms)
The scenery was very much desert like. Dry arid lands with small ups and downs. Stopped for a coffee at Abanilla
Abanilla - Crevillent (N-340, 22kms)
Passed Albatera on the way. We had finally left open country and reached the jungle of urban civilization again.

The campsite at Crevillente was good. A good bar too to finish a long journey in. There was some kind of celebration that went on till late that night (something to do with the Arabs or Moors coming to Spain). However we were refunded our money by a very apologetic manager the next morning because of the noise.

Day 21 (Sunday 19th September 1993) : Crevillent - Alicante/Airport

Dist:53.6kms, AvS:18.2 kmph, MxS:46kmph, Time:2h:57m
Crevillent - Alicante (N-340, 36kms)
Being Sunday the roads were a bit quieter so had a quick uneventful run into Alicante. The city was all closed. Went to the beach and spent the afternoon there. It rained for a hour in the evening. Left for the airport soon after.
Alicante - Airport (N-340, 14kms)
Set off at about 7pm from Alicante city to the airport (before it got dark). Had a pretty long wait as our flight was only at 4 a.m next morning.

When examined in greater detail Alicante was not bad as it seemed on day one. Maybe because being Sunday things were quieter. However all good things have to come to and end and time does really fly when you are having fun.

Total Distance: 2267.72kms.