(Click the Spain 2018 drop down list to follow our latest updates)
This year’s winter sojourn from Shola is taking us to Southern Spain and a cycling tour of the Andalucía region, but for how long and the exact route we don’t yet know.
Our initial thoughts were to ride overland directly from Portrush so that we wouldn’t have the palaver of packing up the bikes in boxes for air travel, but it turns out that the only ferry operating from Ireland to Spain (Cork-Santander) does not accept foot passengers or bicycles! So bike boxes and flying it is then.
We’d also thought we were going to stick to cycling the Southern Spanish coast, starting from Cadiz and taking in the EuroVelo 8 Mediterranean route, but after a bit of research we discovered the route is still under development, and by all accounts the coastal roads are way too busy for bicycle touring. So inland and hills it is then.
The rough plan is to start in early November by flying with the bikes and our camping gear from Belfast to Malaga and then see how and where we go - a lot may depend on the weather (we’re hoping for more sunshine and less rain than the North Coast winter, and for Spanish campsites to be open at this time of the year), and of course the gradient of the hills in Andalucía could be a major factor!
We’re hoping to leave the bikes and gear in Malaga while we return to N.Ireland for Dad’s 95th birthday celebrations; fly back to Malaga again and continue cycling for a couple more weeks, dumping the bikes at our friend Rachel’s Verdeveras eco-campsite in Vera, before returning to the UK again, this time for the festive season, and then fly back to Almería in the New Year to finish off our tour.
You can see where we end up by clicking on our updates via the Spain 2018 drop down list.