Day 57 – Belchite to Zaragoza

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Last night’s dinner was another feast – seafood paella, followed by a piece of fish and salad. For a greasy little workingman’s cafe in a one horse town, the cook does well.

Back to the hotel – the hot water was, finally. I read for a while, then checked the weather for Zaragoza – it was supposed to be around 35 for today. I slept well, but was awake at 7:00 am; showered packed, and on the road before the heat hit. Breakfast wasn’t worth waiting for; toast and jam, cake and fake OJ is not ideal cycling fuel.

I was on the road by 8:15 am. My route choices were A) up the A-222, then hang a left onto one of several main roads into Zaragoza, or B) Follow the A-220 for a few Km, then chuck a right onto CV-303, which becomes the CV-624 at Puebla de Alborton. B is slightly longer, but would have less traffic. It’s the way I went. Pedaled off into a cool, misty morning, almost fog. I had to take my glasses off as they kept misting up.

The A-220 (also called the Goya route) is not that busy, certainly first thing in the morning, and it’s almost level with just a slight uphill grade. After 9 KM I turned right onto the CV-303, and made good time to Puebla; still misty, still cool. I almost stopped to put on a jumper, as it was close to being cold – the weather forecast was not the best.  Didn’t need to, as at Puebla, the road started to climb, and I soon warmed up. A good, steep grade up to the Plana del Serrano.

mist

Saw more bikes than cars. Approaching Valmadrid

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the road levels, and stays either level or downhill for the rest of the ride. Awesome. On to Torrecilla de Valmadrid. There’s a very ancient ruin there, and about four houses.

I’d been expecting to find a bar, or a cafe, or a petrol station – somewhere I could buy fresh OJ, a decent coffee, and something to eat. No such luck. This is definitely a by-way, all the way to Zaragoza. If you’re riding it, take fuel. I had enough water, but a couple of sandwiches would have been nice.

I had about a Km of main road as I approached Zaragoza – it made me glad I’d taken the quiet route. Dual carriageway, lots of traffic, lots of trucks. I picked up a bike path, which took me through the suburbs to the main Plaza; a quick check on my tablet showed the Hotel Tibur nearby, three stars, so I walked the bike to it, and booked in.

The sun broke through about 10 km short of Zaragoza, but it only got to 28C today. It’s supposed to get warmer over the next few days – 38C on Monday. That’s warm.

I’ve got two nights here; lots to see and do. I had a quick walk after a shower, then a late lunch/early dinner at the hotel Seafood risotto, a piece of grilled cod and salad, and cake and ice cream. It came with a glass of wine – 13 Euro. Great value. I’m just struggling to eat after 9:00 pm, so a late lunch seemed the go. Here’s the view from my room;

roomview

the river Ebro is just beyond the museum; the basilica is on the right, and the cathedral to the left. Hard to get more central.

See you down the road.

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