If the manager of this hotel were to walk in right now, I’d probably get thrown out for moving all the furniture around. I needed a space large enough to piece together the final three maps which has just allowed me to work out a little more detail about the route over the final ten days or so of the trip. He it is…
The dates are fairly loose to say the very least but I’ve included them as a guide.
Monday 19th August
Cycle from Valencia in a south-westerly direction towards Albacete. According to my map there are campsites in Casas de Ves and also Alcalá.
Tuesday 20th August
A hopefully easy cycle to Albacete. In Albacete I can start riding along the first of the three ‘Vias Verdes’ (disused railway lines adapted for walking & cycling. See the first of the maps below. This will take me to Alcaraz and there is a campsite in nearby Peñascosa.
Wednesday 21st August – Thursday 22nd August
The next Vias Verdes starts in Jaen. Along the N322 this is about 200km so it makes sense to make it a two-day journey. Nowhere obvious springs up as an overnight stop but if I were to deviate south slightly into the mountains there are campsites around the Embalse del Tranco (lake). It is likely that my cousin Richard will join me over these two days (albeit in his car rather than on a bike). Richard: if you get a chance, can you investigate the camping options near the lake. It looks promising.
Friday 23rd August – Saturday 24th August
Two Vias Verdes link up on a route from Jaen to near Lucena (see the second and third maps below). The first is the Vias Verdes del Aceite 1 and the second the Vias Verdes Subbética (aka the Aciete 2). Cycling the two routes should take around a day and a half. The Vias Verdes website says that accommodation options are advertised en route and I will rely on that for the time being for providing me with somewhere to sleep. The second half of Saturday should hopefully allow me to make some distance towards Seville. Not sure as to where I will stay on Saturday night as it seems to be a remote, barren area between Lucena & Seville. Could this finally be my opportunity to delve into the scary territory of wild camping?
Sunday 25th August
Cycle to Seville. Depending upon progress made earlier in the weekend I may even have a little time for sightseeing. I visited Seville a few years ago so I’m not desperate for a day off there. I’ll stay in a hotel in Seville. Depending upon where I have stayed the previous night it may be a luxury one!
Monday 26th August
Seville to Huelva is 100km. There are camping options in places just to the west of Huelva.
Tuesday 27th August – Wednesday 28th August or Thursday 29th August
Google Maps suggests that to avoid motorways I would need to deviate significantly northward away from the coast as the only crossing over the Rio Guadiana (the border between Spain and Portugal) in the south is a motorway. This will be a pain but if I have to do that, so be it. The route is around 300km so it may be the 29th before I arrive at my destination, the Cape St. Vincent just west of Sagres.
Friday 30th August
Sort out arrangements for getting back to the UK over the weekend. I’m due at work at 8:30am on Monday 2nd September. Anyone got a private jet?