Particularly when they are 600 m straight up then down again.

Really it was in a beautiful National Park for most of it , Guardarrama  National Park  and the usual cyclist hordes must have been back at work or on other routes. Supposed to be 19 k! Quite col though somewhere around 12 c and even colder in Cercedilla.

Set off from my log cabin, quite warm under my blanket mountain but nippy getting over to my spartan bread roll for brekky. At least the coffee was OK. Headed out of town the wrong way so behind to start with. No other walkers about. Started climbing immediately and just gradually crept

up and up. Path alongside the road. Made it to Manzanares el real, then up up bloody up to Mataelpino, stopped outside the town on a rock and ate some provisions, muesli bars holding on David, plus started on the electrolyte capsules, no visible effect did not start leaping about  just cursed the damn umbrella and put it thru my waist bag strap which was much better. A few more metres and realised with 8 ks to go I was knackered. Luckily my rock was on a mans drive and he came out and opened his gate, v surprised to see a hobbit sitting there.

Asked if he was going to Cerecedilla, he was, could I have a lift, he looked very surprised and begrudgingly said yes. Not sure if it was begrudging as cannot read the Spanish.

He had some English and after a few minutes driving cautiously asked how old was I…he was 70 and called Theo…

So glad to be in a car as it started to rain and there was a loong looo g hill to get up before the steep descent into Cercedilla. Thanked my saviour effusively and dived into the nearest farmacia for some anti inflammatories. Found a coffee shop, scoffed two and ate a pastry. Finally found my way to my hotel near the railway station. Used the umbrella and lost its cover and attachment strap along the way…may go back and look before I leave maybe not…

Found a dinner place and had lentil soup, hamburger and cake. Came back to the hotel and spent three  hours being sick as a cat… not sure what to blame but the burger patty had some pink bits which I thought I had avoided, maybe not. So not too thrilled at the thought of another 650 m up to the top of Puente de la Fuenfria(1796m). The train station is sooo close and direct to Segovia. Shall attempt it and fall back position is come back and catch the train.

Saw another walker, actually saw her two nights ago in the hotel dining room, a very battered blonde Ameican woman, she was flying along  damn it.

Spotted in Manzanares