Switchbacks

EUROPE 42

25/07/2011

SWITCHBACKS

Despite the noise from the bar last night, we managed to get a good nights sleep, and an early start this morning: up at six, we were on the road for just past eight.

We climbed gradually from the start, slowly gaining altitude until we reached Piedrahita, where we bought some food for lunch before heading into the mountains proper. The only thing that marred the morning was Lewy’s rear wheel starting to disintegrate, snapping two spokes in quick succession – not what was needed from a brand new wheel. The climb was gradual but persistent, and not as bad as we thought it was going to be. We made the summit at 1275m for one, and had lunch looking down on the valley bellow – one of the best views of my entire trip. The summit also marked the transition between the ‘Castillia y Léon’ region and the ‘Extemadura’ regions, a bit of a landmark given their size – plus ‘Extremadura’ has to be one of the best region names going!

The descent from the mountain pass to the valley bellow was awesome, we fell to just over 400m in a near vertical drop, screaming round switchbacks at serious speed. The descent done the rest of the way into Plasencia was hard work – the terrain was flat, but the 40 degree heat was stifling and we were all wilting a bit by the time we reached the campsite – especially as I had a puncture on the run in. We had a good afternoon around the campsite, with the pool and a huge plate of our attempt at a piella particular highlights. Were going to get another early start tomorrow to beat the heat, and need to try and find a bike shop for our two knackered wheels.

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2 thoughts on “Switchbacks

  1. Sounds like a great day, and the scenery looks fantastic. Bit worried by the state of your back wheels, especially when you are screaming down mountains at break neck speed. Hopefully you will find a bike shop tomorrow. Just had a lovely evening with John and Lorenna, hopefully they will be visiting again when you are home for your weeks turn around. Still waiting for your details so I can book your flights home. Stay safe, love you Mum xxx

  2. Ed, I cant believe the spoke saga!! Do you believe its a function of the weight you are carrying? You will be able to write a learned paper to the wheel manufacturers
    Notwithstanding spokes sounds like the great adventure continues to go from delight to delight. What a fantastic odessey we admire you so much. Going for a cruise with the choir to Wareham with fish and chips at the mid way point with Jess and Margaret and Grandma—should be fun.All for now off to choir practice
    Keep safe and enjoying yourself. All our love Grandma and Grandpa xx

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