Thu, 08 Oct 1998
Thursday: Cordoba to Sevilla // at 00:00
Riding: 6hr 23’ 49”
Time to head off on the bike... It's around nine in the morning, I'm sitting in a café opposite the Mezquita being smiled at by the girl who works here, sipping an excellent coffee. It's a tough life...
Compared to yesterday, this morning was bliss. I got up, packed up, put my seat up, then got out without having to break out! A quick breakfast and reread a letter from Jo, then the normal morning chores of counting the money and working out how much I spent yesterday.
Eeek! Somehow I can't account for all the money! p3500 seems to be missing. Hmmm, breakfast, coffee, snacks, dinner, room, beers... Aha! It's yesterday's room bill. Phew.
It was a magic day riding out of Cordoba, despite one slight detour, the first 20km along the river were dead flat and I found I was just cruising along at 30km/hr or more, grinning like a fool and singing out loud.
Somewhere just after Almodovar I tried to be clever and put on my sunglasses while riding, no mean feat when the bike is fully laden with panniers. The hill got steeper, the bike got faster, the glasses got tangled in my shirt and I lost concentration. A loud BANG!, followed by thwap, thwap, thwap.... I'd hit an odd chunk of metal that was lying on the road and it had punctured my tyre. Not just the tyre either! It had gone in through the tyre and tube, out through the tube, through the rim tape and punched a hole in the box section of the wheel rim itself! Luckily it came out when it was flung around or it would have shredded the tyre open, as it is, I've had to put a bandage of ruined tube around the inside of the torn spot. No more spare tubes now and I'm determined not to be cocky, no matter how good I'm feeling just keep concentrating on riding!
More flat and cruisy riding along the valley, although I was now erring on the side of caution and stopping to check the damaged tyre every 10km or so, making sure that the tear hadn't worsened and that nothing else had happened!
Lunch under some gum trees at about 90km or so, definitely not as good as my last lunch on the road on the way to Montoro, the bread roll had dried out and was very stale.
Arrived in Sevilla in good time then got disoriented riding in and ended up being turned around and coming down along the river, then stopped at the Tourist Info. for a map and a hostel list. On the way out a guy was busy touting for one hostel and had just grabbed two very tired looking Candaian girls and offered them a triple room. I asked him about single rooms and he just didn't have any, tried to fit me in with the two girls but they wouldn't share with a scruffy Australian cyclist, so he directed me off in down the street and told me to go La Cruces de Patio. The name sounded vaguely familiar and I pulled out Jo's letter and found she'd stayed there a few months ago.
More disorientation, I stopped at a corner to check my map and a guy on a moped started offering me a room “just a minute away”. He sounded very suspect and wouldn't tell me the name or the address, just “follow me,” and “along here a little.” Handed me a business card and it was for La Cruces de Patio, I guess I was doomed to stay there!