The Travel Chronicles, week 5


Thing is, lots of cycling days are quite uneventful. You get up, get out of zombie mode, fold your tent, get and eat some food,

Águilas – Puerto de Mazarrón, 58,7 km, 669m



stop for a drink, a coffee, a bathroom or for lunch, cycle some more, then

unfold and pitch your tent, wash yourself, your clothes, then find, cook and eat some food, and the day is pretty much gone.

Some days, you’re fixated on your goal.

Puerto de Mazarón – Cartagena, 35,5 km, 479m

Some days, you might stop for a bit of tourism, or to take a quick dip in the sea

– and some days, it might be the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen, and you may realise that it makes zero sense to keep pushing and tell yourself you’ll stop at he camping and go swimming afterwards,


Cartagena – San Javier, 51,9 km, 416m

because you’re hot and tired now, plus you’ll never know if there’ll be a storm by that time, or if the camping is even on the seaside, or if the pool everyone on google writes amazing reviews about will be closed (it will, of course).


San Javier – Murcia, 51km, 394m

Some days, you get soaked in the rain.

Ever since I’ve gotten that heat stroke (or what), I’ve been weak and prone to headaches, and for all I’m cutting my daily distances short and optimising for uphill meters, I’ve been exhausted. So I stopped for a rest day in Murcia – and spent my first night entirely unable to sleep due to creaking beds and snoring roommates, then walked about town on four hours of sleep and as much coffee, if measured in cups, plus a whole different sort of headache than the days before,

even as I did my best to enjoy the place.

Murcia – Guardamar del Segura, 58,4 km, 22m

Loneliness sets in, like the ever-repeating silent blocks of summery ghost-towns on the coast.

Company is largely up to good luck when travelling alone, not that I’m the best company myself, or have much patience for others, when exhausted and with a headache.

Guardamar del Segura – Elche – Alicante, 48,1 km, 230m

I have lots of friends in these regions, old and new, and they all have their own lives, as is normal, so I have no right or reason to be resentful when that means they can’t make time for me. Cycle travel is weirdly constraining, anyway: I’m in this place, now, for this long, and move fast, but can’t do a detour longer than 10-15 kms, and that’s pushing it.


As it turns out, all it takes to revive me is a good night’s sleep, a nice swim in the sea, and a horchata with just one friend who is willing, able  and happy to see me.

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