Distance: 194 miles
Sunday, 6th September
Today is all about getting miles done fast, partly as we are staying at a lovely place this evening, the Parador marques de villein, and would like time to explore and make the most of it, but also as the weather forecast is quite foreboding.
After a good nights sleep we wake without a hangover and eat a good breakfast while we watch the rain pouring down outside our hotel. So we put our rain suits on for the first time this holiday and hit the motorway.
According to the weather reports we should ride the whole journey in the rain, but once we are underway it feels like we are running along at the same pace as a gap in the storm, with rain ahead and rain behind. However, this does mean that riding through the spray.
It's fun heading into the tunnel under the castle and parador at Lorca as we leave, but then the ride is rather boring to Murcia. From Murcia to Albacete there are nicer vistas with more greenery and olive groves than we have seen for a while, although ominous clouds track us overhead the whole way.
Outside Albacete we pick up the Madrid motorway which becomes much busier and slightly frantic for a two lane motorway that could do with being wider. Dodging a persistent A class Mercedes, that kept on getting in our way, speeding up, slowing down and cutting between the two of us, we pulled off the motorway just 17 km from our destination.
A quick loo break and we decide to take off the rain suits and chance it for the last few miles. We are now riding through rolling countryside that could easily be mistaken for Essex, we do a right turn and soon come across a Moorish fortification - our parador for the night.
We check-in, and the weather clears so we have lunch at a cafe in the afternoon sunshine and wandered round taking photos and making ourselves at home in this Game of Thrones style setting.