RideEatCamp

Cantalojas

Europe

On the menu today was a big helping of kilometers. The kilometers were sunbaked and mountainous and served on a bed of lonely roads with a sprinkle of gravel. This was one of my favorite meals in Spain and perhaps one of the best on our whole trip.

The cathedral in Burgo de Osma shows off in the morning light.
The cathedral in Burgo de Osma shows off in the morning light.

Another view of Burgo de Osma.
Another view of Burgo de Osma.
At one point we found ourselves on a dirt road linking two tiny villages.
At one point we found ourselves on a dirt road linking two tiny villages.
Spain felt huge and empty.
Spain felt huge and empty.

From Ucero we started off bundled up in all of our clothes. Since I sent my gloves home in Ireland, and since my other pair of socks were still wet from laundering, my hands had to face the cold without protection. The first 15km were rough, but as we warmed up my hands stopped stinging.

In Burgo de Osma we stopped to check out its walled town center. It featured a large sandstone cathedral, lots of quaint old buildings, and plenty of nice Sunday morning light. We played around with different photographic ideas as locals enjoyed a morning stroll. In Spain, people really aren’t up and about until around 10am.

When we left Burgo we said goodbye to nearly all of civilization for the rest of the day. We passed through a few villages along the way to Cantalojas, but most of the time it was just us, the empty road ahead, and miles and miles of rolling dryland farms. The wheat and hay were already cut for the season, so the land just looked like a blonde man’s 5 o’clock shadow. When the soil was upturned or exposed it was brick red and it looked as if it hadn’t met rain in a decade. What trees there were stood short and squat and separate from one another.

This is a description of the area featured in Victor Hugo’s famous *Don Quixote*. We were near La Mancha. We even climbed over a mountain range with rows of windmills.

At the campground outside of Cantalojas we were greeted by the owner who was shocked when we told her where we came from that day. She refused to believe that we made it that far on our bikes. Carrie and she chatted for awhile while we sat on the porch sipping some beers. It was a relaxing way to finish a good day of riding.