As another day dawned I fired up the stove, made a brew and sat on a rock looking out to sea. Peaceful but for the crashing waves I simply sat with my thoughts and waited for the sun to rise over the hills.
Fresh morning legs were soon tested with the continuous ups and downs of the trail. My eyes felt gritty after days of constant gravel riding and the sun was beginning to show it's heat as we wiggled our way down, up and round the coast.
It wasn't long before we were pushing up steep, loose rock uphills and feeling like we were in for a rather trying mornings ride.
There wasn't a house or building to be seen, just the odd jeep or truck enjoying the off-roading. Ahead we saw a bit of a monster climb and we both looked at each other before Charlotte said, 'I don't think I can do this'. 'Yes we can, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other', I said as we both put some motivating songs on to play on our phones. I had a good old 90's girl power playlist as we pushed, pulled, heaved and cursed our beastly heavy bikes up the rocky hill whilst being passed by a jeep on the way.
As we crested the top it was time to enjoy a bit of the good stuff, some nice flowing downhill. It wasn't too rocky or technical as we cruised down, me riding through Charlotte's dust trail as we reached the bottom of the valley and caught up with the Jeep. Right by the sea, there was a lovely rock arch leading from the clifftops.
Continuing on the winding trail we eventually joined up with a road and took a short detour down to the little seaside town of Ajuy. It had taken us two and a half hours to ride about ten kilometres and we were in need of a bit of a pick-me-up. Tea and coffee followed with a rather random snack of bread rolls with garlic sauce.
It was time for a bit of road riding as we climbed out of Ajuy with the scorching sun beating down and making it hard work without much of a breeze.
Eventually we turned off onto a gravel road and we soon arrived in Pajara where we went to the Spar and ate lunch in the square. It was rather exciting, I'd bought a salad bowl and actually had something green instead of the usual beige carb-fest, haha.
Refuelled it was time to push on and tackle the afternoon's ride. I'm very pleased to say that it had clouded over now and so was a lot cooler as we headed out into the hills. They were a rich orange colour and there was a lot more vegetation growing than we'd seen previously.
Another corner turned, another new world.
What goes up must come down and it certainly did. The smooth gravel road meant a nice speedy descent and it was a joy to ride. Enough speed to almost crest the next hill was joyful as the ups and downs were neverending. We went from gravel to tarmac, to gravel and back to tarmac - variety is the spice of life, haha!
Arriving into Cardon we were faced with the looming Montana Cardon with it's peak in the clouds.
We may not have been climbing the mountain but we had our own version ahead as we rode out of town and back into the hills. Nestled in a sheltered spot we came across a couple of allotments with their vibrant green crops contrasting against the dull background of the hills.
Forging on we came to our next adventure, a narrow rocky trail that to all intents and purposes must have been a hiking trail.
There were frequent big stone steps to ride over and it got quite technical in places as we continued to climb steeply before plummeting back down to start another climb. It was exhausting. It wasn't the size of the ups, it was more the fact that there was just one after another, no chance to take a breather or get into a rhythm.
Thankfully it wasn't too long a stint and then we began a long gravel road descent that would take us back down to sea level. It was lovely, still fairly hard work as we now had a pretty strong headwind but the clouds had long gone and the sun was beating down so it made for a nice cool ride to Costa Calma.
Riding into the town, it was full of hotels, obviously a holiday destination and it seemed that they all blocked access to the beach. Hungry for ice cream we eventually settled on going to the Spar as we needed porridge and water for tonight's camp. Charlotte came out of the shop with a whole box of chocolate ice cream sandwiches as they didn't sell individual ones. Not a problem for us though as we sat outside the shop and proceeded to devour all six of them!
With only an hour or so of light remaining we headed out of town and into the gravel trails that ran parallel to the lagoon. I've never seen a lagoon before and it was really bizarre to sea the green bushes growing in the sand and pools of seawater.
After a very sweaty day we were in need of a bit of a wash and so dumped the bikes in the sand dunes and headed down to the sea to freshen up.
The sun was low in the sky and created the most incredible glow across the pools of water on the beach, creating a mirror image of the land.
Walking back from our dip the sun had dropped behind the hills for the day and the sky was glowing yellow and orange, a beautiful sight indeed. We've seen so much beauty on this trip and I think that's the glory of any cycling trip. To be outside in nature all day, seeing the world around you in a slightly different light and noticing the daily rhythms of mother nature. It makes me feel alive and so grateful to be on this adventure. Night night amigos!