Day 5: Rabbit’s Leg Field to Seville
After having too much chocolate for breakfast, evidently fully recovered from being sick in Morocco, I cycled to Dos Hermanas for my morning coffee and then on to Seville. It rained for the first time in over a month, but only for half an hour (sorry people of Scotland!). I stayed at Seville Inn Backpackers hostel, a great place with a fully equipped kitchen and centrally located. The night soon descended into a drunken pup-crawl with others from the hostel in the clammy evening heat. It wasn’t hard to see why Seville holds the title for the hottest place in Spain at over 25 degrees in the middle of the night. I lay cooking in my own sweat trying to sleep.
Day 6: Exploring Seville
I hadn’t planned on staying another day in Seville, but my hangover had a different opinion. Nonetheless I made the most of the day and wandered around the city. The streets are very narrow and windy, much like the old town in Barcelona but with slightly more modern buildings. Strangely and rather annoyingly cars are allowed in the city centre meaning people are often trapped on the narrow streets and forced to stand on doorsteps to let them by. There is a lot of character here and if it weren’t for the heat I could easily see myself living here. To think I wasn’t even going to come here; I was forced to because the only road from Cádiz to Portugal leads through Seville (because of marshland near the coast). I spent the night at a Paella cooking class with all you can drink Sangría. I think it became more of a Sangría drinking class with a bit of paella thrown in.
Day 7: Seville to Abandoned House
After much lazing around (it’s the heat, I swear) and chatting to other travellers (and eventually selling my old maps to them, score!), I headed off around 4pm in the direction of Huelva. After getting out the city (difficult with the motorways) I had a really nice time on a quiet road (A472) which went through many small and picturesque towns on the way.
Despite the heat, a very nice cycle, with a little headwind keeping me cool. I slept outside next to a derelict building near Villalba del Alcor. The temperature at night is much cooler away from Seville but still too hot for a tent.
Day 8: Abandoned House to Portugal
I covered a good distance today, over 100km, which is usually what I aim for but often too lazy to achieve. I had my hopes up for Huelva after how interesting and beautiful Cádiz and Seville were, but I was left sorely disappointed. To think I was offered a job here a couple of years ago; how different my life would have been. Even though many people have told me Huelva smells bad (the name seems like a combination of “huele – it smells” and “huevo – egg”) it didn’t smell. But it was a bit dull. I didn’t take any pictures.
A few towns later I stopped for a coffee in Lepe where despite the two enormous “NO SMOKING” signs on the wall behind the bar, the entire pub was smoking inside. The signs probably to satisfy the sole policeman of the region. The barman looked like he was heavily on cocaine, but he was very friendly and even put ice in my water bottles at close to the speed of light. These little towns it seems Spain, even the world, has forgotten. Finally and rather sombrely I left Andalusía from the small, scenic town of Ayamonte, where I caught a small boat to Portugal (Unfortunately there isn’t another way on a bicycle: the bridge is not only a motorway but a toll road too, and the next crossing is around 30km further north).
I’ll miss the south of Spain, it’s been great. I’ve met many lovely people, even made some new friends, eaten great food and drank a lot of cheap beer. I wonder what lies in Portugal…? Is there even cheaper beer?
*Disclaimer: Despite all the references to alcohol, I’m probably not an alcoholic.