Distances to Nowhere

 

What a great day cycling. We leave the hospedaje that has served as our home for the night and immediately begin a fantastic five hundred metre decent into the valley bellow. The downhill is perfect, the road condition is faultless, hardly any other traffic, sweeping corners, and a gradient that gives a constant velocity of fifty kilometres per hour. Swinging through the corners is enjoyable whilst the speed is not too fast to enjoy the beautiful view. Verdant hills roll off into the distance, birds of prey swoop alongside the road, cabelleros  working the fields, some on horseback whilst others are maintaining the fences and hedgerows.

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The valley has an air of prosperity. Now in the coffee growing region there is clearly more wealth, and tourism. We follow the river through the valley. A team of racing cyclists are training along the valley and in the nearby hills.
We reach the junction where we must leave the valley and begin to climb. It is here that we find an interesting feature of this part of the country; the signposts and milestones give the distance to nowhere! This may sound odd, but it is true. With two hours before dark we see a sign to a place 14 kilometres ahead. ‘Fine, we shall head for there and have a nice early finish’ we say. At fourteen kilometres there is a sign confirming that we have reached our destination, and nothing else, just a sign. ‘Odd’ we agree. Still, not to worry, plenty of light left and it is a lovely evening for a ride through beautiful countryside. We press on to the place marked on the milestones 12 kilometres ahead. We climb and fall for 12 kilometres until we come to a milestone reading 0 and two soldiers. One of the soldiers tells us there is a cheap hotel 7 kilometres ahead. We thank him and set off uphill happy that we are in an area that appears affluent and therefore to our minds bandit free. After a while we notice that the milestones now read 3 kilometres. ‘Splendid’ we say ‘there must be something just around the corner’. On we climb for three kilometres until we find, nothing. Yes, here they carefully, and it must be said acurately, mark the distances to nowhere. Fortunatly the soldier (or policeman, difficult to tell) was correct, there was a fine lorry stop at 7 kilometres.

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