Tarifa to Tangier Lifeday 25,317

Hotel Continental

Hotel Continental

A lazy day as you can imagine, it’s not possible to cycle across the Straits of Gibraltar 🙂 Instead I took the €36 high speed ferry to do the 18 miles separating Europe from Africa.

I had booked the Continental Hotel which overlooks the harbour in Tangier, easy to see but not so easy to get too up the steep alleys. The hotel itself is totally stunning, if a bit past its prime, inside with its gorgeous elaborate tilework covering every wall and its right in The Medina so very easy walking once the bike was stowed inside.

First task was to get a SIM card for my MiFi dongle. There seems to be a lot of competition with the main players having guys in the street all dressed up in their company’s livery. I ended up getting a SIM on the Meditel network, the first gig of data & SIM card was 40 MAD I bought an additional 5 gig for 50 MAD so 6 gigs for £8 compared to Three’s roaming charge of 6 THOUSAND pounds per gigabyte!!!! Word of warning though for 3 customers – make sure you deactivate roaming after leaving Spain on their Feel At Home plan.

The next task was getting the strap resewed on my Carradice bag, easily solved my a guy working in a tiny place just big enough for him and an industrial sewing machine – amazing and why I love places like this.

Lampshade shop

Lampshade shop

The rest of the time was spent clocking up well over 8 miles walking around The Medina I enjoyed it so much I think I will winter over here rather than Spain 🙂

Tomorrow I’m going 110km down The Atlantic coast to Larache. So it will be interesting to explore Moroccan roads & drivers.

No Strava today but some pictures here

 

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Sabinillas – Gibraltar – Tarifa. Lifeday 25,316

The Rock

The Rock

A very full on day. Starting with five miles on the dreaded A-7, less busy today so not to bad. I turned of and explored the once huge gated community of Sotogrande very posh indeed 🙂 Then with relief along the old road alongside the A-7 until I reached the A383 and then a climb to over 600 feet before swooping down into Concepcion and Gibraltar whose passport control was totally perfunctory.

The apes and where they were looking.

The apes and where they were looking.

Gibraltar was incredibly busy, especially with my pet hates of scooters & taxis everywhere plus lots of tourists, not my sort of place at all, although interesting to see how England used to be but in the sun. I decided to take the cable car to the top, leaving my bike with the Fire Station below 🙂 Took loads of pics of the so called wild apes for Sally and the view.  Before quickly descending and escaping the turmoil.

Sunset at the southern tip of mainland Europe

Sunset at the southern tip of mainland Europe

Then it was of to Tarifa climbing to well over 1,000 feet before dropping back to sea level in Tarifa and the finish of the European bit of my bike ride. This has taken 31 days of riding (excluding Ibiza)  to do 1,907 miles  and with 77,679 feet of ascent 🙂  I left home 68 days ago but have been flitting to and fro quite a bit plus spending two weeks in Ibiza so all very leisurely.

Tomorrow its the ferry across the straits and a night in Tangier, Morocco.

The Strava’s for today are:
To Gibraltar  24.7 miles 1,234 feet of ascent
To Tarifa 31.6 miles 1,843 feet of ascent

The pics are on Dropbox here

 

 

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Malaga to Sabinillas Lifeday 25,315

A Lovely bendy bike path, not very practical but certainly better than nought

A Lovely bendy bike path, not very practical but certainly better than nought

The day started very well with a Spanish breakfast at the cafe next door to The Zeus. Then I was on my way along the wonderful snaking cycle path behind the promenade in Malaga. All was bliss..

At the sports stadium the cycleway vered right, I needed to go straight on. The only problem it was an horrendously busy road leading to an even busier roundabout, I was amazed after all this time, Spain isn’t going to force me to ride on these roads? At the roundabout I was bemused and so was the prostitute (most Spanish roundabouts seem to have a resident worker) as I went round a couple of times. I bit the bullet and went over the bridge amidst the huge trucks! I made it only to find the exit I wanted was blocked so more messing about and eventually I arrived on the MA-21 and it’s traffic. I hugged the kerb and perimeter wire to the airport to try and avoid the trucks . After Fuengirola it got worse and  became the A-7  🙁

Action was needed, so I had Google Maps plan a new route. This avoided the main road but proceeded to take me around estates built on the cliffs with incredibly steep hills leading to steps, obviously Google’s satellite resolution isn’t quite good enough yet 🙁 Later on it took me to the ocean’s edge expecting me to wade around 🙁  I gave up and returned to the traffic and the A-7

Lighting engineers are the same world over.

Lighting engineers are the same world over.

The problem with biking on urban motorways are the numerous slip roads a total nightmare with cars each side of you and then some nutter cutting you up in front. The other problem is that they leave a ‘footpath’ behind the barriers but the lighting clowns erect their posts dead centre making it impossible to steer around. Plus they suddenly end!

Just amazing that their premier tourist road has such appalling provision for cyclists, walkers and mopeds etc. I guess the EU money ran out.

Well the bridge is in Los Angeles, Spain

Well the bridge is in Los Angeles, Spain

Anyway I survived to live and tell the tale. However, I will not be cycling South from Malaga ever again!

The Hotel Dona Luisa in San Luis Sabinillas is very pleasant almost on the beach, a very welcome sight after 66 miles, 2,900 feet of climbing at 11.6mph according to Strava.

The days pics are here.

Tomorrow I should make it to Gibraltar and the southernmost point of mainland Europe at Tarifa.

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Motril Beach to Malaga – Living the dream day 25,314

Living the dream I certainly am1-2016-11-16-09-02-03 🙂 Waking up, packing, having a  toasted baguette covered in liquidised tomatoes and a long black coffee. Hoping on the bike in warm sunshine and away for another day in the saddle.

The day started as it usually does with a roller coaster of 400 foot+ hills then straight down to a beach and up again! rinse and repeat for 27 miles and you have your 1 mile of ascent 🙂

The road was quite busy with traffic since the coast is now getting built up, the greenhouses have been replaced with thousands of white houses all soaking up the sun on this the Costa del Sol. None of the places I went through took my fancy at all, just huge holiday towns.

Acueducto del Águila (Eagle Aqueduct)

Acueducto del Águila (Eagle Aqueduct)

The Acueducto del Águila (Eagle Aqueduct) at Nerja, is truly amazing to see, just think of all those bricklayers 🙂 there is its history here

Lots of cyclists out today including families, on the flat section near Malaga and I saw my first tourers, but going the other way 🙁 so no time for a chat.

I’m at the Hotel Zeus tonight in Malaga centre close to the rather posh train station. The WiFi doesnt quite make it to my room so I’m in the lobby listening to some weird Spanish comedy show.

Strava on the iPhone worked perfectly today, whether it was the recent iOS update or the maps.me recent track feature that was causingthe problems I don’t know 🙁

So I rode 59.3 miles and climbed 5,238 feet most of it in the first 25 miles. The average speed was 11.2mph, pulled down by all the traffic lights and stops in the town centres.

The pictures of the day are on Dropbox here

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