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Chapter 17: Bikepacking the Altravesur-Niguelas to Pampaneira

6th-7th May 2019

You can see my YouTube on this ride here

El Secreto de Olivo hotel in Nigϋelas price includes breakfast, I only had a couple of slices of toast, so thought it would be OK to nick a couple of pieces of fruit for later! At breakfast there was a group of around eight guys from the UK that were on a road-cycling holiday, based at the hotel, going for different rides each day. There was more in their group, 17 in total, the others staying at a rented villa, a pretty big group!

It was my earliest start riding to date, 8am and there was no problems with getting lost it was a steep ride down out of town, across the riverbed, then steeply up onto the camino. I could see the mountain I needed to cross, it looked quite daunting, and I knew this was the lower of the two I’d need to cross to get to my destination of Pampaneira.

The camino was at first surfaced, it was much steeper than other caminos for the first two kilometres or so, then it became a little easier, but was always up. The road was not only steep but switch-backed as well, so it seemed lots of pushing but I soon had climbed much higher than Nigϋelas and I started checking the altitude on my map to try and encourage myself or will myself up to the 1900 metres.

I’d decided I needed to control my hydration and nutrition better, to stop this continual cycle of dehydration and sunstroke. I vowed to stop every hour for ten minutes to re-fuel and cool down, this lasted once, at quarter past nine, where I stopped at what would have been the most fabulous wild-camping spot. The next stop was half eleven and then God knows when, that didn’t last long did it!

The scenery was pretty, rugged and green with trees, shrubs and flowers, interspersed with rocky outcrops. And soon mountains in all directions, with a large plain beyond Nigϋelas and some distance to the mountains in that direction.