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I’m writing this in our tent, wild camping behind a broken down old house at the top of a massive hill south west of Valencia near Macastre. We left the city this morning and are taking the inland route to Gib. We decided on this having had multiple warnings about the grimness of the coastal euro velo 8.

We were advised that EV8 is busy as hell and very unpleasant. The trade off is hills. Constant, wearing steep hills. Sure it’s beautiful but man, we are working for it. I was flaking today. Tracey kept me going . It was so hot and tough. I was having doubts about the decision to come this way and in truth I still am. We are however committed now so we have to press on .

We met some lovely people. One gentleman spoke to us for a while about the ride. Before we left he gave me his Valencia cap which was such an extraordinarily nice thing to do.

We haven’t put the fly sheet over the inner tent so we are effectively sleeping in an outdoor mosquito net. It’s 2135 and the sun is just about down. I lay here as Tracey sleeps next to me. Her breathing is the only sound. Occasionally a bird flies over and it’s do quiet I can hear their wings beat. 30,000 ft above me aircraft can be seen heading west probably out of Valencia. It’s odd watching them fly , it reminds me of the juxtaposition seeing passenger aircraft cruising over Northern Uganda as we cared for people in huge camps displaced by the conflict.

I have fallen asleep twice while writing this on pages so I’m going to stop there . I’ll post tomorrow when we have a signal again.

SW of Macastre to Wild Camp in an Olive Grove North of Balsa de Ves.

Wow! What a day. This isn’t a route for cycle touring. Yes to road biking on some 2 gram lump of Carbon. This is monumentally challenging. We woke at 0630 to get on the road as early as possible. That turned out to be about 0715 .

We were climbing immediately and did so virtually all day. I can’t overstate the challenge. This is harder than the Jura, the Alps and the Pyrenees no question.

We met some absolutely lovely people who have a cafe in Venta Gaeta. Christina is 5th year medical student in Valencia so of course I chatted with her about involving Medicos Sin Fronteras in her future planning. I promised her a copy of Ebola : Behind the Mask having told her about my remarkable friend Dr Anna Simon who is currently beginning her 2nd year in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her mum Dolores and her Gran were also there and were totally lovely. Just kind people who wanted to help in any way they could.

After chatting a while, taking refreshments and charging the phone we headed off back onto the road and the climbs. We did have one massive downhill later in the day but this only preceded an uncyclable uphill which finished us off just about. We called it a day just a few hundred feet earlier than planned and raced against a thunderstorm to get the tent up. We succeeded with a dry inner!

I am going to try to post this with a couple of photos but data access has been an understandable issue in this very remote place.

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