Orgiva to Lanjarón – 85km

I am posting my journals backdated to the day I wrote them, so read from bottom up if you have just arrived. Keep checking back, I have two weeks of journals to upload.

We all gathered on our hotel balcony for a breakfast of meat, cheese, bread and juice. We then packed our bikes and rode to the center of town for coffee.

The ride started today by heading back down to the river, then climbing the A-348 towards Torvizcón. It was a busy road, and a long climb. High in the mountains across the valley we could see the high road to Tevélez where we would finally end up today.IMG_0205IMG_0215

At Torvizcón, we turned down toward Tevélez, switch-backing steeply down to the river, then started climbing. The hours wore on and we continued to climb, ever higher with the Mediterranean sun beating down on us and draining us of energy. It took us several hours to cover 14km and about 4000’ of climbing before we had our first, brief descent.IMG_0227IMG_0233IMG_0234IMG_0237IMG_0243     

We crossed the top of the first mountain range and began working our way up the high valley to Tevélez, the highest permanently inhabited town in Spain. It is a stunning white town nestled at the head of a valley below the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada. If anything, it is marred by the tourist busses and the crowds.IMG_0244IMG_0250

In Tevélez, we met a British ex-pat who had settled here. he confirmed that the book Driving Over Lemons is to blame for the influx of new-age hippie drop-outs into Orgiva. He said that they have become a problem “stealing everything that is not nailed down.” He tries not to head down into Orgivia for fear of being mistaken for the wrong kind of ex-pat.

We were sitting in a café in Tevélez expecting a quick 15km descent into Orgiva and another few kilometres into Lanjarón when Dave entered our destination into his GPS and it said it was 42kms to go. I had been planning a 55 to 60km day and since we had already done 43km, this was a bit disconcerting. We thought it must be misrouting, so I entered the route into my GPS and recalculated. It confirmed the distance.

Judging by how hard we worked to get here and the state of everyone, we thought we might have a mutiny on our hands. It was turning into another Prouseâ„¢ epic day! Luckily, after a brief climb out of town, we flew down into Orgiva, giddy with the speed after such a long day. Over 30kms passed in what felt like minutes as we flew down out of the mountains.IMG_0266

We arrived back in Orgiva within sight of our hotel, then climbed the final 7.5kms to Lanjarón. We settled into the Hotel Espania, a beautiful marbled building fading from past glories. Checking in, we weren’t sure if it was a hotel or an old folks home. An old Spanish woman, barely four feet tall, came to greet us and insisted on kissing both Dave and I on each cheek before being dragged away by her daughter.

It was only as we walked through town that it dawned on us that everyone in town was ancient and crippled. Lanjarón is known for its curative waters and is a destination for those seeking a second chance at their youth. It is a sharp contrast to Orgiva, just a few kilometres away.IMG_0276 IMG_0275

We found a little bar down an alley for dinner and sat laughing, drinking beer and recovering from a long, hard day. We ate pizzas, cheese and meat until we could barely move, then moved on for a dessert of ice cream, giant sundaes and hot chocolate.IMG_0280 IMG_0279

Download GPX file for the day. [maptype=G_MAP_TYPE]

View Jen & Rich’s post for today.

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