Day 25, Horcajo de los Montes to Carmona–325 km

We headed south today, towards Andalusia. The beginning was wonderful, curvy roads and walnut trees, lots of wild herbs and flowers.

Soon before we crossed into Andalusia, I spotted a ruined castle on a hill. As the road curved through a town, there was a sign pointing up a road that went up there. The road became a gravel road. The gravel road led us to this:

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To be clear, this is NOT the castle we had seen from the road. However, it was adorable, and there was a narrower, steeper road to it, paved with loose large stones and patched with red loose clay-like powder. After a discussion, we decided to try it.

I got up to right beside it, with much difficulty, but it was very strange. Decorated with witch-shaped weather vanes and fake skulls, I decided it was probably some kind of fun-castle. I could see the ruin we had wanted further on. However, the road was too bad. I carefully turned my bike around and walked it, careful step by careful step, back down the hill. Lynn walked up to spot me. She had gotten stuck trying to turn around on the first road, so we chalked this whole experience up as “tourism follies.”

Most of the rest of the day was pretty dull. The roads were pleasantly curving, but there weren’t many interesting things to look at. Lots of flat farms, modern, unspectacular. We drove past Cordoba.

Eventually we got to our day’s destination, Carmona, where there is an excellently well-preserved Roman necropolis.

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We were allowed to walk around in it, and even climb a ladder into one of the tombs!

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After some time at the necropolis and its adjoining museum, we utilized Booking.com and TripAdvisor to make some dining and hotel decisions, after discovering that unlike EVERY other area I’ve driven through, there was no campsite anywhere nearby. The town looked nice, though.

Our hotel was a little difficult. It’s adorable, a 14th century mansion converted into a comfortable modern hotel. However, I have never been treated so rudely as I was by the Dutch woman who owns it. I won’t go into details, but I was really flustered. It’s morning now, and she doesn’t seem to be here, and everything is quite pleasant, but wow. I don’t know what about me she had taken a dislike to, but she definitely had decided I was an undesired occupant in her hotel. She was happy enough to take my money, though.

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For dinner, we walked through town and all the way back out, to a place we had selected based on excellent TripAdvisor reviews. We were the only diners, but received excellent service from the waiter, and the food was delicious. We walked back full and happy.

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