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Acero To La Toba

The last leg of the MTB Cazorla Tour is an easy day, (at least compared to the previous day!) starting with a steady, easy gradient on broad caminos, before spilling out on to the karstic tundra of the high planes of the Sierras de Segura then descending on fine single track to La Toba.

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Mountain Biking the GR247 in Andalucia

The longest and toughest day on the GR247 MTB Tour: 70km of challenging terrain, with over 4,000m of climbing: its a doozy.

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Mountain Biking the Camino de Mozarabe Day Five - Monterrubio to Medellin

A bright and beautiful morning beckoned....it wouldnt last.

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Mountain Biking the Camino de Mozarabe Day Four - Villaharta to Monterrubio

"The best days mountain biking...ever".  It could only go downhill from here!

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Mountain Biking the Camino de Mozarabe Day Two - Alcaudete to Cordoba

A stage of two halves...olives then wheat, scorched earth then mud...

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Mountain Biking the Camino de Mozarabe Across Andalucia

An opportunity to spend a weeks riding with great friends is never an opportunity to be missed.

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Camino de Santiago 2007 Part V - Pentecost - Awaiting Ascension

This route would have been glorious in the sun.  It wasn’t sunny.  The mild chain suck that had developed on the way out from Cordoba had worsened and led to several moral sapping, fawlty-esque moments of frustrated anger and futile shaking of fists at whatever Gods were plaguing us.

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Camino de Santiago 2007 Part IV - Resurrection Sunday

Miracle!  A bike-hire shop, open, on a Sunday, we couldn’t believe it!  Cordoba, we love you!

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Camino de Santiago 2007 Part III - Low Saturday

We awoke to find Emu’s peering at us from a hill top compound.  We must have bivouacked near Baena’s “roundabout zoo”.  

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Camino de Santiago 2007 Part II - Good Friday - The Passion

The most venerated day in Spain.  Every town has processions of penitents carrying sculptures of Jesus.  Each “pasos” can weigh up to a tonne and they're carried through the streets with great solemnity.

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Camino de Santiago 2007 Part I - Maundy Thursday - The Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper

April in Spain and it’s snowing.  This is Granada not the Grampians! What is going on!?  Chuffin Climate Change!  Checking the forecasts we’d expected some cloud and showers, but snow!?

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day Six - Los Tolmos

Friday was spent wandering around Caravaca de la Cruz, sight seeing, gift shopping and drinking coffee.

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day Five - Araceli to Los Tolmos

Another great dawn as the sun crested the mountains and cast long warm shadows through the trees and over the cabins. Waking to the fresh sun, knowing this was the last day of riding, eased some of the pain of knowing we’d be in the saddle...again. 

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day Four Banderillas to Araceli

Considering that Tony had been doing his “Captain Oates” impression every night and complaining of never sleeping, he was the first to crash out, and the last to wake up, he slept like a baby. 

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day Three Cazorla to Banderillas

Breakfast in the Hotel was “limited”.  The sparse offering of “tostado y tomate” was accompanied by a display of flying oranges as the waitress chucked enough fruit into the juicing machine for eight thirsty people. What was meant to be a long but straight forward day, with a glorious mountain-top finish, ended in calamity and torch lit parade, exhausted, cold and hungry.

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day Two Torres to Cazorla

A late departure from the hotel in Torres did not bode well. Tony had two punctures before we even set off! He must have been carrying a spare one. 10am loomed large and we still hadn't set off. 10k per hour, 80k, we needed to allow 8 hours. 10am meant a 6pm arrival in Cazorla at the earliest. I knew what was coming and how heat effects people. Today was going to be tough.

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - GR7 2010 - Day One - Pick Up

Getting pulled by the Guardia Civil on the way to the airport wasn't a good omen, but the cops were OK. Curious about the Manx plates no doubt. Almeria airport was tiny, there was more room in the trailer! 

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Great Mountain Bike Routes in Andalucia - The GR7 2010 - Mountain Bike Trip

After some hardly remembered conversation with Gary (Burgers) about doing a "multi-stage" MTB trip instead of a "base" MTB holiday, I got to thinking.

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Great cycling holidays, on road or off

Journey through Spains greatest natural park.