|Tuesday April 1 2008
"It is always spring in Andalucia!" says Carmen, one of the stewards for Tierras Del Al-Andalus.
It is the thick of spring now: vibrant green grass covering fields and mountains, hay and fruit harvests, young cows, brilliant yellow or purple or maroon flowers in any direction that you look, dew on the morning grass, cold mornings and warm afternoons.
We started today, Day 4 of Al-Andalus, in view of the Atlantic ocean, and finished Day 4 of Al-Andalus in the port city of Algeciras, founded in 713 by the Moors, with the Rock of Gibraltar standing guard in the bay. If you look to the right of that, you can see in the distance Africa.
Steph had another fantastic ride today, from the sea up into the mountains and back down to the sea. I got some great photos (made up for yesterday!), enjoyed the cold morning with steam coming out of horse noses, the cows running along behind the horses, dust coming up from flying equine and bovine hooves together. I reveled in the warm afternoon watching riders with great grins passing me and the gamboling cows in the blooming yellow fields of flowers. In the mountains, we drove past 3 vagueros on their big beautiful quiet andalusions, waiting for the chaos of endurance riders to pass their little herd of cows.
After all the riders finished (the last came in around 3 PM), we had another great catered late lunch (or early dinner), free beer, water and wine, and another shuttle ride to another lovely 4-star hotel (with our stupidly heavy suitcases, that Inez or Louis never complain about), with wifi (and I timed it - 6 hours of work and still counting!) and terrific cappuchinos to help the work along.
Jose Manuel Soto said the second part of today's ride is the best of all... and every day after gets even better. I can't imagine, but I can't wait to see.
Endurance.net coverage of Al-Andalus