We’d booked the flights without realising that the North Wales coast railway line would be closed between Rhyl and Chester for our outward journey, turning the journey from home to Liverpool Airport into a full day. We rose at 06:30 for breakfast and bike loading then set off down the road to Bangor station in light drizzle. We caught the first train of the day, which was after 09:00 being a Sunday and alighted at Rhyl to ride a section of Sustrans Route 5 to Chester. We’d done the coastal section to Prestatyn before, grey sea at high tide to our left, scrubby land and nondescript coastal dwellings to our right.
From Prestatyn, the route struck off inland through some lovely villages in the Halkyn hills, more interesting but harder work with our laden bikes. We dropped down to dreary Bagillt, a precursor to depressing Flint and on through some forgettable small settlements to the river Dee which delivered us into the centre of Chester, the weather by now sunny and very warm. We headed for Telfords Warehouse, the sunshine and Mothers Day having provided plenty of custom but we were fortunate to arrive as a party was leaving one of the outside tables. The Stonehouse brewery Station bitter was excellent, my birthday lunch of gnocchi disappointing but it filled us.
We missed the Liverpool train by a few minutes, caught the next one and changed in Liverpool for Hunts Cross and a short ride to the airport. We checked in at the Hilton, they were content to lock our bikes away or take them to our room so we opted for the latter since we had an early start.
01: Mon 31st March Faro to Olhao (21 km)
02: Tue 1st April Wet day in Olhao
03: Wed 2nd April Olhao to La Antilla (72 km)
04: Thu 3rd April La Antilla to El Rocio (112 km)
05: Fri 4th April A day in El Rocio (10 km)
06: Sat 5th April El Rocio to Cadiz (76 km)
07: Sun 6th April Cadiz to Arcos de la Frontera (80 km)
08: Mon 7th April Arcos de la Frontera to El Bosque (32 km)
09: Tue 8th April El Bosque to Ronda (55 km)
10: Wed 9th April Ronda to Ardales (52 km)
11: Thu 10th April Ardales to Malaga Airport (69 km)