Tuesday 12th May. Toledo to Ciudad Real. 83 miles.

I was making good progress today and was feeling good right up until the point when I got stopped by the Gardia, it was entirely my own fault I’d just come through a longish tunnel of nearly 1km, there were no signs saying that I couldn’t but I just know that I shouldn’t be in there especially as there was another road that I could have taken, but that involved going over a big hill! I certainly don’t want to go over anymore hills than I have to! It was about 2 miles after the tunnel when two gardia on motorbikes went past me and started to slow down, I knew exactly what was going to happen and sure enough it did they pulled me over. One of them started to talk to me, obviously telling me that I should be wearing a helmet but I just played the dumb English tourist and pretended I didn’t understand! Between you and me I knew I was meant to be wearing a helmet but I was hoping to get away with it, the law says that if it’s too hot you don’t have to or if you’re a professional rider you don’t have to either I was going to try and say do you know who I am but thought twice about it! They told me that I had to wear a helmet and that I could get one in the next town or they would fine me, again rather than trying to argue the point I agreed as they could have made me go back to the last town up a hill which I avoided by going through that tunnel! The next town was about 30kms away. When I got there I did have a look around (briefly) but couldn’t see anywhere to buy one and anyway most of the shops were closed for siesta! With nothing else that I could do I cycled on waiting for the two gardia on bikes to stop me again! I came to another town and again I looked but there was nothing! I spent the rest of my day looking over my shoulder until I got to Ciudad Real where I knew I’d find one and be safe, whether I wear it or not we’ll see tomorrow, it might just be another piece of luggage to carry! Yesterday’s day of rest obviously done me the world of good as I made good progress and wasn’t struggling at all despite it being really hot, mind you it might also have been down to the fact that I haven’t had any mountains to go up! Photo; just in case you haven’t seen it my new shiny white helmet!Garry McGivern in a cycle helmet

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