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[RC] Day 6 of Al-Andalus - Merri Melde

Wednesday April 1 2009


After a terrific meal for more than 150 people during the day's Awards, 11 AM start the next morning meant not getting up so early (but maybe not getting to bed the night before, either : ).

Fase 1: 26 kilometers to Las Pinedas. Due to rains in the past few days, the track was impassable for cars (and for the Andalucians, that is saying something!), and only a few jeeps and Ines on her motorcycle drove with the horses. The first assistance point was attended only by the Organization, since the trail crossed on a very narrow road, while the crews drove straight to the second assistance point.

The first vet gate was in a nice green pasture surrounded by olive groves; the clouds that had been hovering all morning parted and the sun came out for the 30 minute hold.

In the middle of Fase 2, (31 km to Cordoba), riders crossed a (horse) chest deep muddy river and scrambled up out the other side, then had 8 more kilometers to travel to Cordoba, over thick mud that stuck to the feet and made the going heavy. Spectators stood on the river bank and were most entertained by the two jeeps and the quad that blasted through, with Jose Manuel Soto crossing himself before driving into the river, and whooping in victory (and relief) when they made it successfully to the other side.

Visiting today was last year's Binomios winner Jose Antonio, who was unable to prepare for the ride this year because of a little accident; however, he will ride one or two of the last two days, which will also be a national 1* and 2* ride in conjuction with Day 7 and 8 of Al Andalus.

Riders finished in the city of Cordoba - police directing traffic - inside the old defense walls of the city. It was founded by the Romans, became the capital of the Moorish kingdom then finally was reconquered by the Christians in 1236 AD.

Our hotel is a terrific 4* with our windows overlooking the Guadalquivir river, the El Puente Romano (old Roman bridge), and the Great Mosque, or "Mezquita."

And tomorrow: A DAY OFF!!

Coverage - photos and more:? http://www.enduranceeurope.net/international/Spain/2009AlAndalus/