September 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Tuesday 4 September 2012
Hotel Melia Barajas (Madrid airport), Madrid Spain
57.06km, 2hrs 52 mins, 19.82kph,
1478 km total
7189 m rise in Spain
Ascent 505, Descent 600m
Route: Local roads to the N320, NW to nnn, SW to Paracuellos, tunnel under airport, to Barajas
We are here! Hurray!
We had our doubts a few days ago – a long way and hard riding. But we slowed down to more bite-sized pieces and have arrived.
Getting from Guadalajara to Madrid is a little tricky – you have to go north as there are no local roads which go all the way through, only the motorway.
Riding was hard at first – strong winds in our face, but when we turned south it helped push us to our destination. At Paracuellos, there’s a small turn in the road at the top of a long hill – and there’s the airport and the city in front of you.
After the hill, you enter the “bikes prohibited” tunnel (were we to ride across the runways??), which was a little disconcerting. It has quite a wide shoulder and is lit, but there were black holes, the traffic was fast and heavy, and our only light is a little blinking red light on my bike, so Olin was pretty invisible except for his reflectors on his packs. It’s 2500m, a long way, kept thinking some authorities might come and growl at us, but no one did and there’s other bike tracks so we were not that unusual.
After the tunnel we were in Barajas, where we had booked an airport hotel.
Into Madrid to see the spectacular city, go to the Prado, and celebrate with champagne in the garden of the Ritz Hotel.