Badlands No More!

Badlands No More!

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I am leaving Níjar. Níjar? So yeah, here I turn left, hit the trail and hopefully the ride is gonna be nice, not through the all the greenhouses but we need to get to those mountains and there there is the natural park of Cabo de Gata. No comment.

Piles and piles of plastic around the greenhouses. No comment. They're everywhere, yeah? They're everywhere.

Kilometers and kilometers. Maybe they are even organic farms. Look, if I'm not kidding, they're everywhere.

Look, even tires. and the wind takes it everywhere. Yeah, what's the point to show it? In every fucking episode.

I thought I was gonna be faster but it's full of these walls and yeah I'm sweating like a beast. Those walls are one after the other after the other. The smell of this plastic decomposing slowly slowly in the burning sun. I need to cross these little mountains to get to the… to get to the coast. There are thousands of rabbits, thousands. Look, there are two there, but there are thousands.

They have no predators here, so of course they reproduce like rabbits. Look how many. Getting closer and closer to Cabo de Gata. Eight o'clock. I wonder if I should camp on this side of the hill or go down to the coast. Even Cabo de Gata is very nice, the connection between Tabernas and Cabo de Gata a little bit less.

Here there are loads of mines, tunnels. Very sandy? El Poblado Minero de San Diego. Oh there is gold here. I think I find a place to camp. Look at this. Dry mud.

Perfect, perfect. Full moon, almost full moon, it's not totally full. This is where I'm gonna pitch my tent, I'm waiting till it's dark because the little road is over there, it's a dirt road in a national park, it's a natural park or maybe it's a national park, I don't know, so I don't think anybody will pass by but you never know. My dragonfly is cooking tortellini and at some point I will put lentils with vegetables. Pretty good dinner and I have sobaos as dessert.

Beautiful moon, beautiful moon. This is where they were mining gold so maybe I might dig something up tonight, find some gold. Beautiful, beautiful. Padlands! Beautiful during the day, beautiful during the night.

I'll see you in the morning guys, good night. Buenos dias! Leave no trace, all packed. Badlands, last day, last day of this wonderful route.

I need to get to Almeria today actually. It's either today or nothing. Yeah, peaceful night, pretty peaceful. Cabo de Gata Badlands Very, very beautiful.

Bit rough, but beautiful. Let's go to check out the sea and this I don't remember the name maybe San Jose I can't remember but let's go down there and see if I can get some water. Okay what an area there is the name here it's Rodalquilar the name of the village Today I thought the Badlands was gonna be a bit easier, but there was a lot of climbing even today. Not sure why we're getting away from the sea. Sometimes it's a bit rough, the trail. I had some food in San Jose.

Luckily the supermarket was open. I had food in my pannier, but I wanted to get some cold drinks. So that was good. And now we are getting to… This beach is called Playa de los Genoveses. I think people from Genoa, they used to take their boats here.

That's my wild guess. I was here already in the winter, before going to Morocco, for a hike. And I think I have some footage. Oh, what's going on here? Diversion. I have some footage of… … at sunset with my drone so yeah I mean It's not sunset now but you can still enjoy it I think.

Different time of the year. It's very sandy here. At times, there are surfers on this beach, depending if there is wind or not. That's it, I hope you enjoyed Playa de los Genoveses. Playa de Genovesi.

Cristoforo Colombo. Columbus maybe was here. He was from Genova. Although, Spanish people say that Columbus is from Spain. That would be a major blow to my Italian education. In Italian books it says Columbus was Italian.

Now in Spain I'm told that he was Spanish. That would be a major lie on Italian books. I wouldn't be the first one, to be honest. I would be chilling in the shade if I didn't get to Almeria. Yes or yes, within tonight. Because my friend left the keys of the apartment in a bar that is closed tomorrow.

So I need to arrive before 10 o'clock in Almeria. today. So I need to make constant progress towards Almeria. I think I could take a couple of hours off now and cycle later but… Better be safe than sorry. This is a great service, very great. Water in the road.

From here on the cars are not allowed. Another nice beach. Very pretty. They love fucking gates in Spain. Everything is a gate.

Just about. It's hot, very hot. Beautiful, slow, climbing up. I'll chill a little bit here.

Finally heading down. Finally. I think this was the last climb. Hopefully. I'm getting very tired.

I need to chill down, I need to cool down but yeah, Cabo de Gata and then it's all flat in Almeria down there, about 40 kilometers away from Almeria. It's very hot. Badlands could not end easy.

I need to cross this beach. This bit I need to push it because it's fine sand and the bike kind of sinks into it. So better to push it than wasting lots of energy trying to pedal it. The beach has been crossed, now let's see how much sand there is till Almeria. 25 km to Almeria. Almost there.

Retamar. Retamar is a kind of a new suburb outside Almeria, 20 kilometers from Almeria. I stopped at the only supermarket that was open in Retamar. I was very thirsty, I bought one bottle of water because you can't really drink water in Almeria and I wanted it cold.

And I bought a bottle of iced tea. both 1.5 litres I was really thirsty, I had to pay. I drank 1.5 liters bottle of nestea. Not sure it was nestea. It was an iced tea, anyway. In one go, basically.

Then I… I drank also part of the water bottle and the other one is in the thermos. The never-ending beach, still quite far from Almeria. I think another hour to go.

So tough riding on the sand. Very tough. Finally made it to Almeria.

Almeria beach. Getting closer to the end. Badlands.

Almost over. And this concludes the Badlands, I think. Almeria Eye is where I started, is where I finished the Badlands. My two cents about the Badlands? Very, very good route. Very, very, very, very, very challenging. If you don't like climbing, don't even try.

It's very, very challenging. I don't know, it's something crazy. I think it's over 18,000 meters, the elevation on the map. But that's the theoretical one.

When you actually do it, it doesn't compute exactly on the map all the elevations. So it might be at least 20% more. So I'd say 15-20% more. So you're over 20,000 meters of elevation gain for sure.

It could be maybe 22,000. And yeah, it's crazy. Very… I think 740 kilometers, something like that. There are very, very few parts that are a bit dull. And yeah, so very different landscapes.

You get up from sea level, you go up to 3,250, the highest road in Europe. It's the highest road in Europe because on the other side it's paved, so you can actually go up. But from the side that you do the badlands, it's not paved. So technically it's not the highest road in Europe.

What else? Very good, don't do it when it's raining. Bad idea. There's mud everywhere, so if you do it when it rains, you're going to be trapped in lots of places. Spend some time in Granada. How long does it take to do it? I am not sure, but… I wouldn't… I wouldn't budget more than, I don't know, 70-80 kilometers per day because it's very challenging.

I was very heavy as usual. So maybe your mileage varies a little bit, but realistically, I don't think it's possible to do more. I mean, it's possible to do, everything is possible, but if you want to enjoy it a little bit, don't do it more than 100 kilometers per day. Ideally, 60-70. And you can get to also spend some time with the local bars, some local restaurants who have some tapas, some local food. I would spend a few days, as I said, in Granada because it's the best city in Spain, in my opinion.

And yeah, do it. It's great. And it's a real adventure.

2023-10-22 08:55

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