dst. (km)
Today 118.6
Trip 890.3

A crisis of conscience this morning; will I ride alone, or will I ride to Toledo with the other four? Nearly drove me crazy , but they were just too nice to say no to. As a result I ended up riding slower than I would have by myself, sat out the front for the whole day, tried hard not to get too impatient with all their stops, etc. etc.

Since it was the last day of their trip they were in no hurry and didn’t really want it to end, we didn’t get away from Oropessa until and it was already very hot and sunny. I think we all got sunburnt again riding across the plains. Dianne was sick all morning and riding very slowly, she and Peter left the rest of us to ride along at their own pace and caught up at lunch in Talavera de la Reina.

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Dianne, Peter, Susan and Michael preparing lunch

Lunch in a park in Talavera de la Reina was a feast of bread and cheese and turkey and pastries in a lush green park — a wonderfully cool change from the dryness of the plains all morning.

Its grape harvesting time and a few of the smaller vineyards are already doing their picking, gypsies and other itinerant workers bent over in the vines as we rode past. Dianne stopped to take a photo of one group and I don’t think she had their approval, they got very angry and started screaming and shouting and were about to start throwing stones at her as she hastily packed her camera and rode off!

The closer we got to Toledo, the slower they all wanted to go. A few more photo stops, more rests than were necessary, they wanted a good hotel for their last night since they were flying out tomorrow. It was around by the time we finally reached the city and parted ways. I said my goodbyes and started the task of hunting for backpacker accommodation in a tourist city where everyone else has arrived by bus or train in the morning or noon at the latest!

Around and around I went, absolutely everywhere was full and not a bed to be had. It was getting dark as I was heading back out of town, thinking I’d have to camp somewhere off the road and as a last resort I tried the Youth Hostel, which is in an old castle. I was thinking that it too would be full — but amazingly they had plenty of vacancies, maybe because it is well outside the city. I didn’t care why, just thankful to find somewhere to stay.

Where?

Oropessa, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo.