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  • Elizabeth Cameron-Smith

Day 37 - Toledo to Madrid , Spain

A wonderful cycling day - improved almost at the onset by having Arturo, a local cyclist join Grant for many kilometers.He gave Grant a lot of insight into the local area and chatted a lot which helped pass the time and gave Grant an insider's view of the place he was cycling through.

The weather was was perfect and the cycling path infrastructure was fantastic and made getting into Madrid relatively stress free.

After leaving Toledo via a very complicated exit route that avoided all the highways and roads that cyclists are not allowed to cycle on, Grant eventually made it onto a gravel path that took him through endless fields of beautiful poppies.

It was on this path that Crazybikeguy saw Arturo on his bike and waved as he cycled past. Arturo turned around and introduced himself to Grant and wanted to know about what he was doing and where he was off to.He offered to cycle with Grant, showing him some of the little towns on the way and chatting.

They visited Bargas, a small community on top of a hill and continuing into rural Spain, enjoying the farmland scenery and cycling on through various plantations.

Next came to the town of Yunclillos where they shared a coffee break and Arturo left to go back to Toledo.

Heading North East in an almost straight line, Crazybikeguy steadily made his way towards Madrid, through Recas, Lominchar and Cidello del Condado...enjoying the rural settings and the small town feeling of this amazingly fertile and beautiful part of Spain.

Reaching the outskirts of Madrid was pretty daunting as huge European cities are difficult to navigate on a bike- the congestion, traffic circles and sharing roads with trucks, cars and taxis becomes stressful and requires dedicated concentration at the end of a long day on a bike.

Thankfully, getting into Madrid was pleasant! Most of the way in was on the most magnificent cycle paths through park lands and the most beautiful scenery with almost no traffic and well maintained facilities.

Grant had booked a place to stay earlier in the day as he had been told that accommodation was tough to find and very expensive but he found a wonderful hostel and checked in there early in the evening, leaving him to still have lots of sight seeing time and good lighting for photographs...and finding it was relatively simple!

90km with 800m of climbing and a relaxed 5 hours on the bike!

Days like this make it all such a perfect experience.

++The elevator was too small for the bike and the room was on the third floor so the very enthusiastic receptionist helped Grant carry the bike up to the room! It had the most exquisite view over the Palacio Real and the adjoining Cathedral, and makes one wonder about staying in fancy places when Hostels offer the most amazing service and accommodation at a reduced rate.

Walking through Madrid was great, but at 6pm most of the Museums and churches were closed.

The old part of town was fascinating and beautiful and Grant spent most of the evening there...and he said he needed at least a week there just to enjoy the wonderful history and buildings.

Thank fully he took some beautiful photos so that we could enjoy Madrid too!

So good to hear a voice note with such lovely descriptions of good weather and easy riding.

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Many of you have queried why the blog isn't appearing daily - with two little people with full sports and school schedules and a few birthdays and sick days thrown in, its been a challenge to blog every day but I am on a mission to catch up so please hang in there with me.

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Lovely to have local company with local knowledge! So pleased it was a good day in pleasant conditions. Great pics (again)!! It must be challenging to catch up with the blogs when you have so much on your plate and have had more than a few setbacks, Liz! Appreciate the interesting travelogue updates. Just do what you can... we'll still be here.

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