Yesterday was our supposed rest day. I say supposed because it did not involve the usual rest days we have had in other tours, where I can get washing done in a washing machine (especially good for the cycling kit) and the cyclist has a complete day off. Today we had a 7 hour drive north via Madrid to our hotel for the night. This is not the entire distance to the start of the next stage. Oh no. We still have an 1.5 hour drive for that, then the cycle then a 3.5 hour drive again to the next hotel.
So we did not set the usual early alarm on Monday night and we set off yesterday at 9am so there was at least a tiny sleep in. It was tiny too as we were both awake shortly after 7am. The Cyclist knew I was completely out of supplies and that I would need to go to a Supermarket. So before we hit he outskirts of Madrid, we followed the signs for an E. L’Eclerc off the motorway. They said it was 1.5 Km, but when we got off it said 2Km at the Island but we still followed. It took us through an I duz trial estate with shoddy road, traffic calming bumps and islands and there was still no supermarket. The Cyclist was berating himself for getting off the Motorway but a couple of turns later we arrived for a flying visit, then off again.
All the way into Madrid, through it and out the other side I was of the phone to Mm_Scimitar and Nanakatz. Partly to catch up and partly so I understood that the devastating news I had had the other night was now even worse. There are times that I hate my Garmin sat nav. I had put the destination into co Pilot to compare the route, eta and distance. It was not sending us through Madrid but via the network of motorways the surround it giving us a better eta. As I was on the phone I could not see co pilot and The Cyclist left me to my call while he followed the Garmin. It took us on a motorway into Madrid and Round if on something like the Parisian Peripherique. I could see that this was a motorway like I had been caught on unawares some 10years ago in Barcelona. The Spanish motorways in cities are not like the M5/6 around Birmingham. No, the are 3 or 4 lanes and have traffic lights on. This on had lights about every 20 meters and they were mostly all red as far as I could see.
The hotel was completely off the beaten track in another national park. There are so many national parks here I bet they rival USA. The sat nav’s had no idea where it was so all we had to go on was what was on the booking sheet. This just gave a tiny unclear map and an address of the road you had to turn off and the kilometre marker along that road so you just had to follow those to see if they were going up or down in the right direction then follow until you came to the one they mentioned. Just by this marker was a sign for the hotel. It was long way off the road and was the only building to be seen so it had to be it. It looked deserted . You couldn’t park by the front so there was a short walk up steps to the front. Off you Go he said. That is my que to check in and do the talking. Quite frankly after the upset of the calls I had had during the journey, I wished I didn’t have to as it would be my turn to scare the locals with the state of my face.
The room was really big and so was the bathroom. It was a lovely hotel, like those you see in the states. I know I rep mentioning USA but its the only likeness I can give as I have not been anywhere else li,e the. The Cyclst however likens this and our previous desert rides as going through the centre of Australia east to west in that dessert. Nt a good advert for Spain I fear.
It was early to bed by 9pm bearing in mind The cyclist had been asleep since 6pm, but i figured he must need sleep more than food and he had eaten some smoked salmon on crusty bread. He fell asleep watching episode 1 series 1 of Ashes to Ashes as he had watched the last one of series 3 last night. Now he has gone back to the beginning to where he started in Italy back in May. Oh boy, that seems like an age ago. When we arrived we said we would eat here, but as the restaurant only served dinner between 9-11pm we were both too tired by then so we ate the baguette. The cyclist had proper good in the fridge too and so had some bread and cheese.
Now to get well under the sheets for the first time in days as its cool in here but who’s complaining?