The prettiness of Granada was capped with the look back on it with the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas looking rather majestic behind it which accompanied me the whole way to Loja. I was heading there next as there was another Warmshowers host, John, and I was eager to meet more. He’s an English teacher, with a lot of international experience, the most random being Sudan. A pleasure to hang out with and chat while he fixed his scooter and we sipped down cups of milky tea in pint glasses.
I’m going with bullet points.
- The weather got toasty, leading to HS saying how we were finally in Africa – because Africa is always hot apparently.
- We stopped in a town for lunch, went to a stand and got some small bread things as it was all that was on the menu. The owner did however mention if we wanted, we could go into the market, buy some things and he’d cook them up for us. We weren’t hungry enough, but what a nice man!
- The day ended early because R got a rear puncture. We tried to fix it 3 times but it kept failing again and so as we were right by an easy camping option (so many olive fields, so easy to camp) we just pulled his bike and bags into the field and set up camp.
- HS loves fire. His normal stove failed back around Turkey so since then has been just making regular fires to cook his dinner.
- HS also loves cooking, and makes delicious noodles and pasta.
R had said he’d wake up early to get the puncture fixed, but that didn’t happen and so after another hour of waiting and the puncture still not being fixed we came up with a new plan. Hitch a lift. R seemed to think it’d be best with all of us together, but finding a lift for 3 seemed a terrible idea and so myself and HS continued on by ourselves. R had plenty of hitchhiking experience, that’s how he’d been travelling for the previous
The next few days proved an interesting challenge for my rear wheel, with a ridiculous number of potholes that I’d be focused on avoiding and then still end up landing in. It was so bad in parts that it was actually a relief when the surface turned to light sand, although the washboard parts weren’t fun, as at least I would hopefully not worsen the crack. I’d not been seeing many bike shops, although that was possibly partly because I wasn’t seeing much of anything other
Some time during my previous leg, I had noticed that my rear wheel had a little shudder when I braked. I don’t remember when it started, but it was at least like that before I went to a bike shop in Waltenhofen, southern Germany, in the beginning of June. That guy hadn’t worked out the cause, and just re-adjusted my brakes but it still resumed. I figured it was down to the wheel being out of true and resolved to fix it while I was home. Being me this meant that about a week before
I’d taken a few months off over winter, to spend time with family and also to make some money. Having found another trial to make more cash, the decision was made to fly home from Budapest. There was already no way of getting to all of the countries I’d been intending to before the end of summer, and so taking 6-8 weeks off to make money and start again seemed worth it. Even paying for my flight home, the amount I’d earn would mean I’d end up a fair bit ahead and I could