Escape from Alcaraz
Unlike Mr Eastwood, we needed more than a teaspoon to escape the first serious hills of our trip. Many dessert spoons ladling in sugars was more the case. The Sierra de Alcaraz may not be the first to leap to mind when asked for famous mountain ranges beginning with "S de A". When you realise that the 2 main passes on our route through it are both higher than most Munros, it sticks in the mind a bit more. The views from the top made the long hot grinds worthwhile.
Lunch at Riopar showed that there's not much that 2 café solos, monster boccadillos and Fanta Limon won't fix.
When we finally reached Elche de la Sierra, preparations were in full swing for the upcoming bull-run. At first, we were unsure why huge logs were piled up around the town until a poster tipped us to the reason. These were to be the barriers to channel the Robert de Niros towards the Plaza de Torres, where the fountain carries a mosaic depicting previous competitors clinging to windows and ledges. There are still bullrings in even the smallest towns throughout Spain, which range from the grand arenas of the major cities down to something little more than a ring of corrugated iron sheets. These, and the regular bullfights on television, show that this is one bloodsport unlikely to be banned in the near future.
Day 88km (Total 890.6km)