Monday, April 4, 2016

Grazalema, Spain: Just Another White Town on a Hill

We left Rondo on a very quiet Sunday morning. After a few kilometers on a major road, we exited and commenced the climb to Grazalema. It seemed we were passed by more recreational cyclists on their ultralight bikes than autos. We were going slow enough that a few of them passed us again on their way down. One stretch was shaded by a cork forest, the trees stripped of their bark as high as a person can reach. Sweeping views that made my heart sing were around every turn. Rock climbers hung on the limestone cliffs near the base of the final ascent.

Brilliant sun reflected off the white walls in the town, but that was all over once we reached the pass. Storm clouds gathered, we bundled up in protective gear, and by the time we reached the end of a thrilling 2,000 foot descent to the town of El Bosque, our hands were cramped from braking. We were wet and chilled. We checked into the first hotel we found.

Our fourth day in Spain, our fourth day of cycling, and our fourth day of challenging uphill climbs. But the mountains call us and they have their rewards.
Another day, another uphill climb...

Looking across on our approach to Grazalema tucked in the Sierra del Panar.  Can you see the peublo blanco in the distance?

Grazalema, wonderfully white.

The cloud ceiling began to drop by the time we reached the pass named Puerto del Boyar above the town.

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