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Seville – Costa Ballena (Cadiz) 130 km
The sun rises over the fields, the landscape seems to Vietnam. At our side comes and goes the Guadalquivir. Rio that we will continue to its delta.
At about 50 km from Seville we made our first stop for breakfast. The place looks the old west. The perfect place for a duel of Sergio Leone film.
On the bark of a nearby tree we come back to see our names written, the last time we went through there.
The landscape is increasingly inhospitable and melts. Start making lots of heat.
We want to eat and the only bar in miles around is closed. A hard blow because we have no water. But we must continue. About 10 km we came across a bar in the middle of nowhere, like an oasis. We make sure that is real and eat, rest a little and continue.
We see the salt, a sure sign that we were close to Sanlucar de Barrameda.
For an old railway path that crossed Chipiona up to Costa Ballena, where we made our first night. Ending the day with a 130 km cycling and a bit of swimming.
“Costa Ballena” (Cádiz) – “Conil de la Frontera” (Cádiz) 115 km
Hard breakfast. A great snack.
We begin our second phase, we left Costa Ballena, we plan to spend the night in Conil de la Frontera. Walking about 115 km away.
Good news!, the day is cloudy, we know that the heat is not as oppressive and hopefully can get up some breeze.
After surrounding the military base in Rota, we cross a highway under construction that leads to El Puerto de Santa María. Birthplace of the poet Rafael Alberti.
We left the port of Santa Maria and throughout the metropolitan park The Toruños and Pinar de La Algaida, we headed to Puerto Real, Cadiz City with our right, on the horizon. Already in Puerto Real eat and we replace forces under a tree, avoiding the hottest hours of the day.
We left Puerto Real to surround the bay of San Fernando, Chiclana direction.
At the beginning of the road there was a sign that caught our eye, in announcing the investment of nearly two million euros for the conservation of that road. That money should be spent on snacks and beer to ghost workers.
We arrive to Chiclana, where we surprised a monument of a cyclist. What irony!, Minutes later would know how little respect that people had towards cyclists. People behaved as if they were under the influence of cocaine! no joke, too fast! too fast!.
Best thing about this town?, Some friends I met on a cruise, especially a girl with a fascinating personality, love of London, the Irish Pubs, Oasis and the soliloquies of Hamlet.
Sancti Petri is crossed to the port of Conil and arrived at the lighthouse, a few miles our stage ends. Now we just have to find a place to sleep.
After wandering around the streets of Conil, we move along the beach to cross the river to reach Conilete abandoned bunker in the middle of the night. Halfway there, we met a guy with a flashlight in the head. Apparently was a photographer and was passionate about taking pictures at dawn.
We put the bikes and a side bunker we safeguard us from the cold.
As I fell asleep listening to the wind, I imagined the voice of a soldier inside that bunker, in a round of night over 60 years ago, then fell into a deep sleep.
Conil (Cádiz) – Tarifa
(Cádiz) 100 km
Crossed “the Caños de Meca” to get into the Natural Park “La Breña”, descending down to Barbate. A few kilometers we came to “Zahara De Los atunes”. Where we are faced with dozens of mills, as in the great work of world literature, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
“Look Sancho, what we have out front! Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we wanted yet. Why you see there, buddy? More than thirty monstrous giants! “
After reaching the end of the urbanization of Zahara, climb a rocky road, and later descend to reach Baelo Claudia, a Roman market town built possibly on a Phoenician settlement. The landscape in this part is beautiful.
We leave Baelo Claudia to climb one last mountain, we know that price should not be far behind. But it starts to get dark, and the desire to get us to avoid the path pointed out and choose to go down the road as quickly as possible.
Contemplating Africa at night is fascinating, is like going back millions of years and get under the skin of those who under the stars, eager to reach the other shore, illuminated by the moon.
Tarifa (Cadiz) – Conil (Cádiz) 100 km
Waking up and seeing Africa is almost a dream, a goal for us, that we have reached effort.
Looking at the strait is impossible to think of people dying so often for being here, on the other hand, in Europe. So far from their homes and families. While there are those who are here and are spending their lives through a screen. From here we show our sincere admiration for those who are emboldened against the wind and tide take to the sea. They are the roots of human, selfish, forgot his roots.
We said goodbye to Africa, thought to rest one day but finally we decided to continue our march. After a bath early, continue.
From the moment our phones start running out of battery.
Conil (Cádiz) – Matalascañas (Huelva) 130 km
We set off early Chiclana. Where desayunamos.Y headed to Puerto Real, through the natural park of Los Toruños and pinewood of Algaida arrived the town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, where we eat while enjoying the air conditioning before you continue since it is noon and makes more than 35 degrees.
We arrived at Sanlucar de Barrameda , is half past eight . Nightfall . And we want to cross the delta to travel more than 30 miles of beach.
No food, no water , continue . Our phones have battery left hours ago, so we can not make any more pictures. Anyway there is no better way to appreciate what with your own eyes . What about the money ? we had no more than cents , although we would serve little money in the place where we were going .
We took the last boat leaves at the other side, in the middle of the journey we tell the boatman who do not have money to pay the tickets , yet access lead , but warns us not to see us the other side guards . But bad luck on the other side waiting for a couple of forest guards.
We said we were going to go the beach to Matalascañas , we knew camping could not finally agree to let us pass .
The guards get on the boat and started walking on the beach. Suddenly we begin to see that we are in a paradise. Families of boars roam along the shore. Hundreds of birds are raised to the flight in a golden sunset , more orange.
The beauty of the place overwhelms us , but slowly rising extremely humid winds against us and it is very difficult to pedal. The tide is high, so we walked . We started to cool off , moisture is destroying us lungs with air cleaner we have ever breathed . How ironic . The night is upon us and the only lights we see come from where we come from and the place where we are going , there is no moon , but we use the reflection on the shore of the lights on the horizon. We are surprised to see how the eyes adapt to the dark extreme , and still get to see some of the beach and dunes . About us more starry heaven which we have looked ever, absolutely stunning . We use the sleeping bags to cover our chest and take away some of the moisture that brings the wind . We ride at times, on our way from time to time we see boars away from the shore. We saw dozens of them for hours.
Pedaled toward the lights of the horizon, our progress is imperceptible in the middle of almost total darkness . It was like pedaling nowhere, and produces a slight dizziness , you get used to it . After four hours walking at times and other times on the bike , we began to see in the distance the first buildings . Although we still have a few miles we know we’ve arrived and that encourages us to go faster despite the accumulated fatigue . From darkness we encounter fishermen on the beach , none greets us . Arrived! , Are almost three in the morning.
Gone is a journey of nearly 600 kilometres along three provinces , Seville , Cadiz and Huelva , 4 punctures , roads, highways , beaches, mountains and people we spoke to , who all showed their admiration and support.
Perhaps no company of Julio this trip would not have been possible, as it is increasingly difficult to find people who are willing to escape from their lives , away from a television, computer or mobile screen . Preferring the comfort and security of being at home , and throw their money on drinking every weekend .
Sport is an escape , but also a great way to know yourself . From here we encourage you to make your life a great story to tell . Because your life is all you have and that’s all you need . Because freedom is useless if you can not share it, because dreams do not exist, there is the effort to achieve them. Next challenge!