South Spain in October is hotter than someone such as I might expect.
On arriving a week ago I found myself sweating profusely on a coastal road, the mid afternoon heat soaking me from the sticky concrete below as much as from the deserted blue sky above.
In all honesty, however, the weather has cooled slightly in the past few days. Summer has finished and the rains are coming, rains that are awaited patiently by all the srcub, trees and crops that scatter out across the arid moonscape of Southern Valenciana and Murcia.
We have travelled, so far, by bicycle from Valencia to Murcia, the first 350km of this leg of the tour. We stayed for two days at ´Potro´in Alcoy. Potro is a communal household/project which for now, to the disappointment of the sole inhabitant Jordi, is home to only one person full time. It is situated in the mountains that surround Alcoy and is a haven away from the ciudad. Even though there is only one person properly living there for now there have been many more before and surely will be again. Potro aims to be self sufficient, Jordi makes loaves of bread to sell on Mondays and this helps with the small costs that are incurred living there. He keeps donkeys, burros, as well as chickens and grows as much food as he can. We ate very well there, on home grown organic veg.
So many people pass through and stop by at Potro and the hard working, occasionally jaded Jordi is always there; welcoming, thoughtful and inviting.
Irrevocably, the lure of staying at Potro for longer was a thread within all our silent thoughts and it seems that Pete and Alice will return there at some point. I hope, perhaps, in the longer term, I might as well.
But, leaving the Potro behind we set off on the road again. A 140km ride over two days to Murcia took in some breathtaking views of the mountains and the last 70km seemed to be relentlessly downhill, we felt blessed in this respect, it seems that in Murcia, at least, going South is the same as going downhill. I am sure we will have to repay that back sometime soon though.
For now it is on to the community ´Sunseed´ in Sorbas, via the coast. With the sun less intense and a Mediteranean breeze I am sure the sweat won´t be so profuse this week.