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J62 - Thursday, December 17: Encinasola (Spain) – Marker 62 on the N433

76.23km – 10H16’
Altitude 448m
Serge ran 936.80 km in Portugal, the first European country we have crossed in its entirety.  Even if we did not meet many people here, the country has left its mark on us and it was a discovery because e did not know Portugal.  The C shaped route we took made us want to come back when we can take the time to wander in the old quarters and investigate the typical small streets.  The population is welcoming.  We were also struck by the cost of living, which is rather high, for camp sites as well as for food and for gasoline (and average of 1,079€).  The cost of living here seems higher than it is in the first part of Spain.  There are numerous Value Added Taxes: 5%, 12% and 19.6% depending on the products on your shopping list.  In Spain there is one VAT at 7%.
We are back in Spain.  On the first part we crossed the northern regions, with the exception of Galicia.  We are in Andalucía: in the mountains and more  specifically in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche Natural Park .  Andalucía is the country’s second largest region (autonomous community) and the most heavily populated in all of Spain, with 86 inhabitants per square meter.  And yet, this is not the first impression we get coming in from the west, because the first 23 km on this road are desert.  Then on the N435, someone connected with the TV comes to our attention because a team is making a film on the dangers of this road.  At km 33, we reach the N433, at the village of Galaroza.  The highway is indeed very narrow at this point.  In this village there is a shop selling pottery and earthenware objects.  Philippe buys a piggy bank which he gives to Serge as a souvenir of this region, where hog raisers are legion.  René has the idea of putting 1 cent of a Euro for every kilometer over 70 which Serge runs.  This evening, with 76km, there are 6 cents in the pig.  From now on we will hoard our savings and at the end of the race we will break this pig and the whole team will gather for a drink to celebrate.  
At km 48 we reach the city of Aracena, where I run some errands.  Aracena is a pretty town in which the church and the castle are on a promontory overlooking the typical white houses with red-orange tile roofs.
Then 11km further on we pass the village of Higuera de la Sierra, before taking a beautiful hilly road and taking refuge at a parking lot at the side of the road after marker 62 and which his hidden from view.
This morning Serge said he had a stomach ache.  We don’t know what caused it but this evening he seems to be better and Mr. Serge even gave a striptease show when he arrived.  All goes well in the best of worlds!
We understand that Serge could not do the same thing in France; below freezing temperatures, sleet and snow would not make undressing outside much fun….
Tomorrow: El Garrobo – Las Nieves -Guillena

Tracé du jour avec Google Earth

Town : Borne 62 Nationale 433 (Province de Huelva)

GPS : N°37.75359° W006.37294°