They weren’t wrong about the 80% shortly after I set off. Nor about the temperature. I take the view that you’ve got to experience these sort of days to really appreciate the great days.
And so I set off towards Jaén. Little did I know the A-6050 was the younger sister of the A-5040 that had brutalised me from Almuñécar to Granada .
First off it was the tame N-432 towards Córdoba. In a brief respite from the rain I managed to take a shot looking back. This sort of looooong gradual climb was characteristic of the road this morning.
Until this point I have been impressed at not only the courtesy of the Spanish drivers but also the lack of road side rubbish. That changed today. Well at least on the rubbish front. From Granada to Alcalá la Real it was astounding how much road side refuse there was. Suggestion to Peugeot. Correct your hubcup fixings. Yours were the most numerous roadside by a long shot .
Discarded roadside was this little gem.
I later googled them over lunch
I would’ve loved to have been in the car when the conversation was had to turf that CD out the window.
Meet Monique . She hails from France and speaks nought English . She hailed me down to ask for directions as her map, which looked as though it had been put together by a 6 year old with thick crayons, wasn’t quite doing the job for her. She and her girlfriend were walking roadside as they had lost their trail somewhere and wanted me to tell them how to get back on to it. When I left she was still confused as ever.
Have you ever been on a dolphin sighting boating trip and at the very first sight of a dolphin taken 20 photos. Only to discover at the end of the trip you have 500 photos of 200 other dolphins?
Well today was like that for me and olive groves. It became fairly evident fairly quickly I was entering the epicentre of the olive growing world in Spain.
Best I get off a shot of an olive grove before it disappears me thought.
55 km later I was still riding through the same territory. You have to see it to believe it. Every inch of terrain covered by olive groves.
Bright colours on anotherwise dull day.
In case I hadn’t realised I was in olive country .
At Alcalá la Real I turned onto the A-6050. The wet weather had subsided but a howling wind and one hill after another Hill after another hill started to take their toll.
Roadside tribute to a lost soul
Entering Alcalá Real it looked like someone’s prize for best plasticine model was an exhibition of it on the local roundabout with the town fort as a backdrop.
At one point I came across a weakened bridge that had been closed to traffic. My choices were two. Chance my arm on the bridge or ride 3 km back up a hill, through a small town and then 3 km back down the other side of the valley to rejoin the road that was only 50 metres in front of me. So a 6 km side trip or chance it 50 metres across a weakened bridge. You don’t have to be related to Einstein to figure my decision.
Two of these amigos were from Catalonia and the one on the far left from the Basque Country. I am thinking dinner side political discussions must be interesting at days end for these guys. They were riding to Granada on a 1 week sojourn then catching the bus home. Smart men.
The picture does it no justice but with the exception of buildings every bit of that terrain as far as the eye can see is covered with olive groves.
And so I climbed and climbed and climbed. At one point the snow wasn’t far away at all.
Have I mentioned how many olive groves I saw today?
Have I ?
Eventually I arrived at the end of the A-6050 and the beautiful town of Jaén. Google it and you’ll find out it’s the centre of the Olive world for Spain. Now there’s a surprise.