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Once again an 0430 start to try to beat the oppressive heat of the day.

We set off from Mengibar in the dark quiet morning, everything was peaceful except barking dogs protecting their territory as we went past houses. They ran along the fence barking and jumping up clearly annoyed by passers by at such a time.

We were tired and it still feels very odd cycling in the dark. One of the best moves we made in prep for this ride was to have new wheels built at Moonglu cycles in Ripon. At the same time dynamo hubs were installed and the wonderful Jonny Shelton wired up the electrics. We have a lot more than just dynamo driven lighting – which in itself is superb – incredibly bright and effective. We also have a charging system integrated so that we can charge our phones as we cycle.

We didn’t see many animals on this mornings journey, a few rabbits who scurried away as we came near. One poor creature was on the road and was literally ‘caught in headlights’ he didn’t know which way to run so we slowed to a near stop so that he could get away.

It was a fairly short ride today about 30 miles but very hilly. It was a case of sloughing up hill for 30-45 mins then down hill for 10 minutes before the next up. Tough going but we kept at it as we do.

Another absolutely beautiful sun rise about 0620 this hugely compensates for the early morning wake up.

Yesterday when we arrived in Mengibar about 0940 we had a cold beer. Today, on arrival in Porcuna at a similar time, we had brandy! Another week of this and we will be buying crack pipes!

After Brandy we went for a look around the town, a walk through a lovely little park and a look over the valley that we had climbed earlier. The entire scene is artificial, I don’t think there is a naturally occurring tree to be seen. Regimented rows of olive trees carpet the landscape as far as you can see. It is clearly the mainstay of the local economy but what an environmental impact.

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