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Monday January 7,
Gatwick with easyJet to Gibraltar, £125 return (the return was from Madrid but see later). Rob's rear wheel was bent badly so we went to the Raleigh shop in Gibraltar and they sold him a replacement for £75, good service, reasonable, price, recommended. Spent the night for E33 for a twin room, at Hostal Paris in La Linea, just over the border into Spain. Ate pizza in a place just off the main street, name something like Telepizza. Breakfast at a small cafe in the square near the hostal, which had friendly and helpful staff. As with all the places we stayed and ate, you need a basic smattering of Spanish or life is very difficult. I bought a Dorling Kindersley £20 Spanish course, which was very helpful.
Tuesday January 8
63k to Gaucin, stayed at Pension Moncada for E40 - it's behind the only petrol station in Gaucin. Ate at the Puente, good paella, helpful barman.
Wednesday January 9
40k over some big hills to Ronda stayed at cheapest hotel in town, Hostal Virgen del Rocio for E35 inc breakfast, very good, recommended.
Thursday January 10
to Estapa, 104k, Hostal Cala d'Or for E40 for twin room, ate in scruffy pension on ain road, up hill from hostal, turn left, opposite side of road. excellent value, recommended.
Friday January 11
46k to Montilla, Hostal Bellido, E45, no breakfast. Ate at nearby bar, cold food.
Saturday January 12
E3.80 bus to Cordoba, buses in Spain very good, cheap, fast, recommended.
Sunday January 13
64k to Hostal Montoro by a motorway, very good place, clean, cheap, good food, friendly staff, recommended, E38 for twin room, bikes in room. E10 each for menu del dia, very good.
Monday January 14
54k to Fuencaliente, a few hostals in the village, all shut except Hotel Pena Escrita, very good, E50.
Tuesday January 15
54k. Lunch at Restaurante El Zorzo at Brazatorte, then on to Puertollano, Hostal Los Arcos, a sort of working men's hostel, in rough end of town, very clean, friendly staff, recommended. E40 for twin room.
Wednesday January 16
78k to Hotel Valle Del Sol 2 on the outskirts of Daimiel, you can see the large letter H on top of the hotel as you cycle over the motorway. On the way there we had lunch E9 in Almagro at a place on the corner as you enter the town, good food, and a supermarket is on the left about 100 metres after the cafe.
Thursday January 17
75k to Consuegra via Villarubin and Urda, through the mountains, fine day but would be hard in bad weather, paid E50 for twin room at Posada de los Consules, not inc breakfast. E9 for dinner but don't start until 9pm, a bit late, but good food.
Friday January 18
55k to see windmills and castles, and Villafranca de los Caballeros for a pizza, return to Conseuegra..
Saurday January 19
77k to Toleda, via Vebenes (coffee stop on corner) then Sonseca with lunch at posh place on the left as you approach a roundabout, huge piece of pork, very nice lunch at E13. Stayed at Hostal Fuerta Bisagra just inside the walls, very good, clean, excellent position, friendly staff with Englsih, bikes in a garage. all good. Special deal in January, E75 for two nights, twin room. Breakfast included, all you can eat, very good, recommended.
Sunday January 20
Sightseeing in toledo, cathedral very good, but the Alcazar much less so.
Monday January 21
9am bus to Madrid, E5 for bike, goes under the coach, had to remove front wheel first, no problem. E5.07 for a person. From where the bus stopped we took the metro, very good, clean, bikes allowed until 12.30 and banned from then to 9pm at night so need to get there early. Metro to Barajas station (ie not the airport) and rode 600 metres to the hotel. Bikes went in the luggage room. Stayed at Ibis hotel near Barajas airport, very good, clean, friendly staff, all you can eat breakfast well worth it. Free hotel bus every half hour to the airport, you need to know which terminal you want to go to.. E60 per night, twin room. Staff speak good English, very helpful. Took hotel bus to Terminal 4 and Airport bus for E5 into Atocha railway station. Walk to bike shop
c/ Atocha, 98
Teléf. 91 5277574
they just handed over a couple of boxes, very nice people, no English, we emailed them to check they had boxes, a few weeks before and again a few days before. Took boxes back to the hotel - walked down to Atocha station, 400 metres, took airport bus back to Terminal 4, then took free hotel bus back to the Ibis.
Tuesday January 22
spent the morning packing/dismantling bikes and getting them into boxes. Free hotel bus to Terminal 1. Waited until 4pm and flew home.
Job done, a great trip.