February 18, 2024

Day 52: Salobreña (Drive/Cycle/Drive)

For the second day in a row I was up and almost awake at 7AM! Don't worry I do not intend to make a habit of this. Indeed, most likely it is only going to be two in a row Personally, I'd have preferred one in a row!

Anyway, it needed to happen so that I could drive to the start of today's ride in Castell de Ferro in good time because today's ride was forecast, by ridewithgps cycle route planning app, to have 3,060 metres of climbing and a cycling distance of 112 kilometres (about 70 miles, in pre-SI units!).

After the usual breakfast, tidy and make "stuff" secure for driving, drive and, get the bike and myself ready for the off; the off was about 10AM.

Oh boy, was I worried when I reached the start of the main climb of the day (the second of the day): the garmin was predicting an 18 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 9%. Obviously, as is usually the case, nothing is as good or as bad as it first seems! Without a shadow of doubt the first four kilometres do have a gradient of 9% but, after that the gradient eases. Indeed, it turns out that the average gradient is only 7.5%. It is a very good climb and I did descend it last year and thought it would be so. Here is a view showing the climb as it passes by the village of Polopos:

The best bit was after reaching the top of the climb I was effectively riding on or near the ridge line for about 16 kilometres (~10 miles), which provided great views. here's one looking over towards the Sierra Nevada.

And this view takes in the BIG descent of the day (about 1,100 metres of elevation to be lost) back to the start, which has a short, steep climb to contend with immediately after you exit the village of Rubite (it is also visible in the photo).

Previously I forgot to mention that Sundays seem to be very popular with the sports (as in riding fast and powerful - killing machines) motorcycling types. There were loads about today.

I mention it now because, whilst I was cycling on the A348 (generally not too busy - at least not on this Sunday) I could hear much engine noise behind me becoming louder as each second past. Then, a sports car shot passed, immediately followed by what appeared to be a group of chasing motorcyclists. The thing was, they were all accelerating out of the preceding corner at what I can only assume was at maximum torque - it was deafening: Indeed, I had some concerns regarding my port ear but, fortunately, it did recover from the acoustic assault a little while later!

Back at the van, the garmin (navigational aid) was reporting a total ascent of only 2,500 metres and a distance cycled of only 105 kilometers. Even though I was cheated out of some height gain and distance, it was still a much enjoyed ride. Indeed, there is much to enjoy about cycling in the Alpujarras.

Finally, the plan was to move from Castell de Ferro to Calahonda, where I stayed last year. However, on arrival, I discovered a height restriction barrier had been installed to prevent vehicles of a height greater than 2.2 metres from parking! I understand why, but it is a shame nonetheless - especially as it was a good spot for starting rides! That is why I am now parked-up up in Salobreña, which is another site awash with motorhomes. So it goes! Can't complain, especially as I'm contributing to this abundance of motorhomes/campervan!

  • Distance driven: 42 miles
  • Distance cycled: 105 kilometres
  • Weather: Ideal for cycling
  • Location: Google Maps