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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Al Andalus: Day 2

Day 3 - 13/05/07 Lynne Glazer

  • 3a Etapa: GRANADA - LOJA (Granada)
  • Salida: Explanada del Palacio de Congresos de Granada (Paseo del Violón)
  • Vet-gate: Recinto Ferial de Láchar
  • Llegada: Campo de Fútbol de Loja
  • Municipios: Granada (*) Láchar (V.G.)
  • Santa Fé (P.A.) Íllora (Brácana) (P.A.)
  • Chauchina Villanueva de Mesía (*) (P.A.)
  • Fuente Vaqueros Huétor Tájar
  • Cijuela Loja
Pair teams decided each day whether they would continue to alternate days or whether a stronger horse would do multiple days in a row. Some opted to take penalties to rest their horses. Some continued to do the ride but not for miles or points standings.

I rode with Michael again, leaving the scenic Sierra Nevadas behind, and we followed the driving directions to Láchar, getting directions from locals within the town. These towns are all charming, by the way, and continuing our mis-adventures, managed to take the rider's route instead, catching them on trail, while Michael had hoped make the vet gate to check on the riders. We drove through poplar forests shedding like snow, on good farm roads through asparagus fields where they were harvesting. We cruised slowly over rolling hills and got a good sense of the day's course. We found our way to Loja without much effort, another picturesque town set into the hills known for its abundance of springs. The finish was outside the local football (Euro style) stadium.

There is a lot of color in this ride due to all the bibs:

  • Riders - white
  • Officials - yellow
  • Veterinarians - green
  • Timers - orange
  • Crews - royal blue
  • Press - burgundy
Each team had their own as well, in Tshirts or polos, which made the crewing especially colorful. We beat the leaders in, the hired workers were assembling the stalls, and it was interesting to watch the hay/straw delivery (see photo) from a dump truck. The riders finished down a tree-lined lane, and as had become usual, there were plenty of townspeople there to watch.

Red ribbons in tails are not as ubiquitous as they seem to be at home, and one rider found out it meant business?if I understood correctly, José Magan was kicked while leading his horse Risk behind the beribboned horse. By the time he got to the finish he could hardly ride, the injury was to the front of his thigh and had cut the skin. It did not prevent him from continuing to compete-- his teammate Carolina rode her horse on the 4th day, and his horse on the 5th, after the mid-ride day off.

I enjoyed the "horsiness" of the population, in general. The kids who played with toy cars with horse trailer attachments. The average spectator queried turned out to either have their own horses or come from a family that had horses. Many of the riders have their family along, and it's so wonderful to observe. I grew up in an animal-loving, but completely non-horsey family, where the victory of my childhood was once getting the family to spend a week at a dude ranch.)

Another great post-ride meal, a wonderful buffet. I'll say it now, I ate nothing I didn't like in Andalucía. Mountain cured ham (jamón) was particularly delicious, and to try to compare it to anything we have in the US would fall short. Sliced thin like prosciutto, but cured. Served with flavorful cheese, along with yummy green olives and "patatas bravas", cooked potato wedges. And the seafood there! So fresh and flavorful. I ate a lot of calamares and octopus, mussels in the rice dishes. Olive groves cover the hillsides everywhere since arriving in Jaen, is a huge export, and it figures largely in the cuisine as well. The beer is mild and served very cold. "Vino tinto" (red wine) was also delicious, I tried some whites but really loved the reds. The sherry came later in the trip.

Michael worked on more horses, I assisted and schmoozed with some of them. The weather was mild, and the post-ride meal was conducive to achieving some quality sleep sitting up in the car while I waited. Then off to another Abades hotel, a 3 star that overlooked the town. I mistakenly placed a shot from there of Loja at dusk in the front of the 4th day's gallery.


1 - Pedro Torres - Vikingo II - 4:12:19  #21 (trio)
2 - José Magán - Risk - 4:22:20  #24 (pairs)
3 - Lise Chambost - Sahel de Gwenkat - 4:27:53  #15 (pairs)
4 - Daniel Bernard - Maharana - 4:31:32 #13  (pairs)
5 - Josep Costa - Olivia - 4:35:11 #3 (pairs)


1 - Francisco López Maeso - 5:00:49 #37
2 - José León - Bulería - 5:20:13  #39
3 - Florencio Agustín - Miño - 5:43:00  #41

Lynne Glazer