[ blog » 2023 » 09_South-West ]Epilogue ( by Philipp Gesang, location: A train to Valencia)


Torino–Sevilla the scenic way in 28 days, covering a number of severe gaps in my travels so far – including the town of Gap itself: the Izoard, the Pyrenees, the Basque Country, Africa (albeit just a tiny bit of it) and of course Spain as a whole.

Map of the route with the main climbs marked. (Made with UMAP.)


All 28 days add up to 4121 km of distance traveled on the bike, more than 600 km more than my longest four-week trip so far, Norway; that is an average of more than 147 km per day. Long distances to bridge between towns, especially in regions like that big void of La Mancha, without being able to wild camp anywhere resulted in a number of rather long days in the saddle. Altitude wise the total looks similarly big with 51845 m climbed and an average of 1851 m – almost one Mont Ventoux from sea level – per day, despite a few really flat days.

The main climbs this time were, in travel order:

An illustrious list containing some of the hardest, highest and longest roads of the continent.


With very few exceptions the road quality was excellent. Drivers in Spain in particular were civil and ultra patient, a breath of fresh air to those used to the maniacal German driving style. The one dangerous situation I do recall was caused by a moron with a Dutch license plate.

In terms of weather I got exceptionally lucky. No blizzards in the mountains, manageable headwind, sunny days. In central Spain I must have gone multiple days without spotting a single cloud in the sky. The little rain I had fell in northern Spain, that infamously humid region. It made Covadonga less pleasant than it might have been, but that was only for one day. All in all I probably had as many rainy days as I had dry days in four weeks of Norway last year; quite the opposite meteorologically speaking.


Let downs:


Some new additions to the traveling gear that stood out in one way or the other:

The Voyage Home

Als always traveling with the bicycle on other modes of transportation is a hassle, and Spain is no different. First stop on the way home is Valencia, and equipped with the required travel bag I disassembled the bike and got on the Intercity train there. A bit disappointing that it wasn’t an AVE but at least it was a direct connection without transfer.

After spending a day in beautiful Valencia I again disassembled the bike, just more thoroughly than before, to fit it in a standard cardboard box for the flight to Munich. Getting the box to the airport turned out to be quite a challenge as local taxi services reserve larger vehicles for the disabled, so after trying various taxi apps I finally managed to book a "group" ride in some kind of small truck. With help from the patient driver we fit the box into his cab which wasn’t designed for transporting larger pieces of luggage either.

At the airport check-in accepted the box without so much as weighing it – I’m quite sure it was over the limit! – so it looks like I’ll have a hassle free flight back home after all.

gps tracks

[view GPS data in mapbox]


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