Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ubeda to Benalua de Gaudix

Read on to find out why I am sleeping in a cave tonight.

But first, a few words about last night's supper. I joined Ron and Susan, Kathleen and Manfred for a light supper of shared dishes at an outdoor cafe. At 8 pm, we were the first ones there, but it filled up rather quickly and we shared several excellent plates, including a complimentary starter of a tortilla wrapped egg and potato salad, a green salad with duck ham, some fish that we don't remember ordering, and a paella-type "arroz con mariscos." We stopped for frozen yogurt as we walked back to the hotel.

A little stop along the way
We left Ubeda this morning for what I think was the most pleasant day of riding this trip. It was long -- about 65 miles -- and it had a lot of climbing -- more than 5000 feet -- but the weather was perfect, the roads were good, the traffic very light, the hills weren't steep, and we finally left the olive trees behind!. Olive trees aren't that bad, but you do get tired of seeing nothing but olive trees, day after day.

We stopped for a light lunch about 12:30, and I took  half my sandwich with me  to finish after ending the ride. It was about eighty degrees at that time, and we had a slight breeze.

Ron had been feeling sick for a couple of days, but was able to ride some today. Unfortunately, Kathleen seems to have come down with the same bug, so she was on the sidelines today.

Our lodgings tonight are inside caves -- literally. But they are superb! Starting from the far reaches of my cave, there is the bathroom, then the bedroom, then a living room and kitchenette, and finally a patio of my own, complete with table and chairs.Each unit is really a nice suite, with excellent WiFi right in the room.
Our hotel, Cuevas la Granja
My cave bedroom
My cave sitting room
There is a pool; which I will remember forever. After arrival, I immediately headed for the pool and had a very refreshing dip. After a few more minutes of sun, I headed back to my cave. Almost there, I realized that I had lost my key. So, I returned to the pool and while looking for the key, dropped my camera in the pool (now you know why I will remember it forever). I quickly retrieved the camera, removed battery and memory card and, with the help of always-at-the-ready Rick and Phillipp, put the camera in a bag of rice to dry out. It may well be a lost cause, but fortunately I haven't lost any pictures from this trip because they have all been transferred to the laptop (and the memory card, at least, still works). I have my iPhone to use for pictures for the remaining part of the trip, although I will give the camera a try before we head for the Alhambra on Tuesday. That, of course, will be one of the highlights of the trip. (By the way, I did find the key.)

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