April 26 - Granada to Montefrio
It was cloudy and wet this morning. Most of the cyclists started early to try to beat the expected afternoon downpour. I was not worried because I had rented a car for the tour. My companions were Jane Maxwell and Cindy Graham. Jane needed a ride part of the time because she was not in shape due to pneumonia earlier this year which prevented her from training. Cindy couldn't ride because she had a broken wrist. The three of us decided to walk to the rental agency to get some exercise and to see more of the city. We managed to get off route a couple of times, but with the help of some friendly locals, we found the rental office. Our car is some kind of Ford with an automatic transmission.
When we left the agency, I plugged in my GPS and routed us mostly along the cycling route.
Our first stop was in Santa Fe . This is where Christopher Columbus signed the agreement with the Monarchs to finance his voyages. It was also where Boabdil surrendered his sword to the Christians and was exiled. We had some coffee and snacks at a small outdoor cafe and got back into the car when it started raining. On the way out of town, Jane was able to get a photo of a statue of Columbus.
On the route, we were able to stop a few times for other photos. In Illora we squeezed our way on very narrow streets so that we could look at an Arab castle on the top of the town's hill. Then it was on to Montefrio through heavy rain.
We had a real challenge finding Hotel Rural La Enrea . After looping through town a cole of times, we decided to backtrack our route. We got lucky and spied a sign pointing us in the right direction.
Our hotel was a small family run business. My room was very plain, large and quiet. The temperature was cool and the only heat was from an overhead heater in the bathroom. It was early afternoon when we arrived and most of us met in the bar for snacks. My snack was chicken kabobs, grande. It was good but way too much. I decided to bypass my pain pills and have a couple of beers instead.
After Happy Hour, dinner consisted of about a dozen courses of tapas. By the time the last course arrived it was too much and too late. We stayed around, however, for dessert in honor of two birthdays.
I have to point out that dinners start very late in Spain. We made special arrangements to start this dinner at 7:30.