We had a standard Spanish breakfast of coffee and tostada, which is inadequate for fuelling a morning’s cycling. We rode back up from the coast and on through Lepe, weather cool with sunny periods and light showers. We spent ages looking for bread in Cartaya but Christine had no truck with the white variety which was all we could find, meaning our picnic back by the sea at El Rompido consisted of peanuts, a banana and chocolate.
We came upon an excellent cycle track which took us into the centre of Huelva, though it wasn’t signposted from the main road. You either have to know about these routes in advance, which is difficult if you’re not a local, or take a chance on where it will take you, we could find very little information online and no maps locally. Leaving this industrial city, we noticed a cycle path along a boardwalk which was pleasanter and quicker than the road with its frequent traffic lights, but this ended abruptly to leave us at the mercy of a fast busy road over the bridge across the river and on past the huge Repsol oil refinery to Mazagan, after which the traffic was much lighter. The road was straight and level, easy cycling but boring so we took the parallel track for a while which also cut out a loop in the road. When the surface deteriorated we reverted to the road for the slog into Mataslascanas. The final 16km into El Rocio was also quiet but dull so it was a relief to arrive at the campsite where we’d rented a bungalow for two nights.
The bungalow had no kitchen so we walked into the strange town of El Rocio with its streets of sand and tethering rails for horses. We watched the evening bird activity and ate at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Marismas with views across the water to the town.