Here comes the sun

September 16, 2019

Leaving the tourist paradise behind us and getting into more quiet places was a nice change for us. The busy roads are pretty dangerous especially in handbikes. The goal for this week was to reach Almeria which we didn’t make in time.

The eye of the…

After a couple of days the weather started to look quite bad at the horizon. It wasn’t sure yet what direction it would take but it seemed something bad was coming up. Because of the limited visibility and being more vulnerable in handbikes we don’t like cycling in the rain here. A couple of times we get lucky as we hear about torrential rain in the region but don’t get rain at all. It is actually great cycling with some clouds protecting us from the burning sun.

Fireworks

On Thursday night as we’re celebrating Kathleen’s (one of the friends and helpers of Frank) birthday we start to get some fireworks in the form of lightning and thunder on the horizon. The owner of the camping assures us that as being the only desert in Europe (Tabernas desert) the rain shouldn’t be that bad. She was obviously wrong as there was a torrential rain, thunder and lightning all night long. I’m very happy to be in a great tent, but 2 of the helpers are not and they are forced out of their tents at night. Besides that we don’t have big problems. We learn the next day that this storm has hit a big part of the region.

Drowned
Still having fun

No fun at all

We read and hear more stories about people being swept away in their vehicles and many roads are closed. There is still red alert for storms and we decide to only cycle in the morning. We dry the tent and clothes and try to relax the rest of the day. After a sudden storm in the afternoon we agree that we made the right decision. Even at night it got worse again. Kathleen and Melvin run away to the sanitary building for a dry place to sleep. The whole storm created many problems in the region, we are happy it didn’t affect us that much. Because of the storm we have a small delay in the schedule.

Back on track

Here comes the sun

We are very happy to welcome the sun again into this route. It is very hot but we are able to make good steady progress after the storm. Frank has set the deadline for the 21st of September to arrive in Gibraltar. This will be a big challenge to make it in time and we only take half a rest day to make up for the lost day due to the storm. In the meanwhile I heard that crossing the strait of Gibraltar will be possible ideally on the 22nd, 23rd or 24th of September. Apparently I need a permission from port authorities to cross which is not easy to obtain. Another way is to have a support boat, I’m going for that option as this is a very busy shipping lane. Most people around there and others who have crossed it seriously advice me to take a support vessel. Still we are very determined and keep on going to reach our goal!

Many thanks to the sponsors who make this project possible!