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The Middle of Spain

spain_-_mind_your_head_and_keep_the_track

We’ve made it to Madrid!  A tough but beautiful week of cycling from Barcelona is complete.  Our second last day before Madrid was especially noteworthy as we travelled through an uninhabited national park with many people spotting eagles, falcons and deer going about their daily routines.

Entering Madrid it’s hard to tell at first that this is the economic and political center of Spain as the suburbs have little that asks to be remembered.  However as you near the center there is no doubt that you’ve entered the heart of the country as not only are the streets crowded with motorists, pedestrians (not many cyclists) but you begin to see the presidential palaces, national museums, national banks… and with Spain being Spain at this time you begin to see protestors chanting slogans outside of all these establishments (well, not the museums) quite a few people here are rather upset about the austerity budget that is on the horizon.

For our cyclists Madrid offers 2 days of rest to prepare for our final two stretches of cycling on the way to Lisbon.  We’ll now have 4 days to ride to the UNESCO heritage city of Caceras.

Everyone is both getting excited for the conclusion of the Tour as well as trying to savor these last days.  We expect more heat and hills this week, but with cold beer in camp and the occasional swimming pool… life is good!


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