So having moved camp to Marbella, what followed was two days of sunning on the beach and drinking in the bar. It was great. Ian decided to stay to help me drink. Then we hatched a plan to drive across the Sierra Navada and make camp somewhere before going our seperate ways again, me heading for the ferry. Ian with three weeks to kill before heading to Valencia for the last Moto GP of the season.Our little convoy set off and I was happy to follow in my own little world of not paying much attention. I had noticed that Dubless needed air in a tyre and as the spare was burried under the bike I didn’t want a puncture. I had also noticed a rather annoying wheel wobble so when we filled with fuel and air I took a good long look at the tyres. The front left tyre was ok but the wheel rim was badly dented. They are steel rims so no chance it had cracked. I recall hitting a huge rock in the road in Morocco and I had stopped to check but seen nothing. My thinking now was that it had lasted this long it should make the rest of the day until I can borrow a hammer and beat it back into shape.
The road through the Sierra Navada was absolutely incredible. A myriad of twists and turns each revealing another spectacular view. My camera was burried somewhere in the car so I didn’t get many pictures. The road was perfect for a bike and I don’t just mean the XR400, it was road bike heaven. We saw several and I seethed with envy. It was a good few hours of driving before we had negotiated what was effectively to circumnavigate the base of a mountain.
Then the road became less tortured and we approached El Ejida. Nope, I hadn’t heard of it either. Well I didn’t think I had but as we got closer I started to see more and more white fabric roofed green houses. It started to come back to me I had seen a program about this area. It’s where most of the fruit and veg grown in Spain comes from, especially tomatoes, accounting for 90% of the tom’s sold in UK supermarkets. As we got closer the expanse of the operation became clear. More and more white topped greenhouses. Its not easy to photograph them because its like a sea of white for endless miles. Its so big you can see it from space. The white roofs reflect the intense heat allowing just enough through to grow things, the effect of reflecting all that heat is a bonus for glider pilots and paragliders who revel in the free updrafts to gain height.
1. This corner of Spain as seen from space.
2. The blue dot is me in aisle 3 of the biggest Tesco ever
3. Library photo of El Ejido