After a wonderful weekend in Guadelajara, with my old housemates from Manchester, and new arrivals, I was sorry to head back out on my own, but Andalusia was calling, and I knew there were great things ahead as well as behind. 

From Madrid I had found a train that I thought would take Brutus and me to Cordoba, and I arrived at Atocha station a with a hour to spare to buy tickets. Easy!

I queued at the Information Desk for information.

“Can I take a bike on this train? “

“I don’t know. You’ll have to go to the Ticket Desk.”

I queued at the ticket desk, an hour later I reached the front of the queue.

“I know I’ve missed this train, please can I buy a ticket for tomorrow?”

“With a bike, no. There are no trains to Cordoba for a bike.”

Poor Brutus, the scourge of Renfe... They were keen to help, and offered another soliution.

“Take the train to Alcazar San Juan, and then you can cycle to Cordoba from there, about 4 hours”.

Brilliant! I Google mapped the distance...

“280km!”

My chin’s still sore from hitting the counter.

“Yes, 60km/ per hour, that’s about 4 hours. On a bike, easy!”

I blame the Tour de France for raising expectations. The bike’s not carbon fibre, I don’t have a support car, and I’ve not been doping. No chance.

I took the ticket in the end, it got me closer to Cordoba, and the nice man at Alcazar sold me a ticket on to Jaen, a mere 115km from Cordoba. I also got a couple of hours to explore the town, trundling through the streets to stretch my legs, posing with the regulation Don Quixote statue. It seems everywhere in Spain has a connection. Cervantes lived here at some point, Cervantes’ father was born here, the fictional character would have had to pass through here if you read the story right, honest... Either way, it’s worked. The Don Quixote trail has led me to download the book, so I can read of a very different adventure through Spain as I explore it myself. It’s a good read, so far... 

Posing with Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, Alcazar San Juan

Posing with Sancho Panza and Don Quixote, Alcazar San Juan