29 Apr Pedaling through Sierra de Cardena y Montoro
Day 49 (27 April 2013) – Half way through the night we woke up to rain drumming on our tent and the occasional thunder and lightning.
Once morning time arrived, it was still raining and miserable outside. We lie there and wait for a break in the rain clouds to make some coffee and decide we were just going to stay another night at this spot. After a few hours of lazily hanging out in the tent while reading and napping, we noticed the sun trying to peak through the clouds. Around noontime we could not stand being lazy anymore and while the sun was out we decided to pack up and get going for at least a few miles.
After riding through another nice wide valley we started climbing over some hills again, followed by another valley. The valleys seem to get narrower and the hills are slowly turning into mountains. The flora and landscape around us is absolutely beautiful, there are so many flowers in so many shapes and colors that it is a feast for the eyes. We ride past a flock of storks and a row of power line poles loaded with stork nests, we never knew it was possible to see that many storks in one spot! Eventually, we find ourselves climbing up some long, gradual switchbacks up another mountain through a national park. Once on top we are rewarded with the beautiful view of mountain scenery and woodland.
We love riding through the national park on the quiet road and would very much love to camp here for the night; unfortunately, camping in the park is prohibited, so we have to keep riding. Somewhere along our way we come across an old rundown campground without even potable water, where the owner wants an outrageous amount of money to stay the night and this would explain why the park was empty. We decided to keep going, because we can have a camping spot without electric, Wi-Fi, and potable water for free if we look long enough—so we thought.
Unfortunately, after exiting the park, we seem to get to an area where every piece of land around us is fenced, so it took us many more miles and many more climbs before finding a piece of the old road that leads us to a patch of a land overlooking the valley where we set up camp for the night.