Day Fifteen

Aranjuez to Toledo (42.4 km)
We’re not going to lie: Of all the days of the Trans-Iberian, this day may possibly be the least attractive simply because there’s no nice way (yet!) of getting into Toledo. This may change when the city starts work on a Vía Verde that would link the town of Mocejón with the city, but until then, it’s fairly industrial. If you’re doing the second half of the TransIberian, you may find it easier to take the bus directly to Toledo from Madrid’s Méndez Álvaro bus station rather than ride along what is basically a hot, dusty, exposed ride. If it’s been raining or you’re on a road bike, consider using the shoulder of the N400 until you reach the Santa María de Benquerencia industrial estate at the 34 km point.                 km
0.0 3.0 7.2 9.6 12.2 12.5 14.5 18.2 19.4 20.3 20.5 20.9 21.1 22.0 23.2

You need to…
Aranjuez Train Station. Go out the Paseo de la Estación, turn RIGHT onto the M416 (Antigua Carretera de Toledo) and ride out over the bridge. M416 crosses the A4 motorway. Go over the bridge and straight through the roundabout. Pavement ends at the Las Infantas train station (abandoned). Keep following the dirt road straight ahead. This train line (which is now only used for freight trains) will be your companion until you get to Toledo itself. Pass a farm (no aggressive dogs that we’ve seen). Note the cement irrigation canal on your left; you should keep this on your LEFT for the next ten kilometres. Path gets closer to Tagus and will start rising T-intersection: Turn RIGHT Path crosses the CM4004 regional road. Watch for heavy truck traffic. Keep going straight ahead. Path reaches a five-way junction: take RIGHT towards farm buildings. Path reaches farm. If the paths are too muddy to continue, turn RIGHT and continue along N400 for 14 km (“*” below.) If paths are fine and you want to continue offroad, follow the path that goes through the farm and rises slightly to the left. Path crosses irrigation canal, so you should now have the viaduct structure on your right. Lesser path diverges to left. Keep going STRAIGHT. Path crosses irrigation canal again, so you should now have the viaduct structure on your left. Cross railway tracks. T-intersection; keep following big path so that you still go parallel to irrigation viaduct. Fork in paths; take the RIGHT path so that you’re moving away from the irrigation viaduct

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23.7 25.3 27.4 29.2 33.4 34.0 34.5 39.5 40.5 41.0 41.1 42.0 42.1 42.5

Four-way intersection with paths. Keep going straight ahead. Pass abandoned farm. Path comes out at intersection with CM4006, near disused Algodor Station. You will need to take the N400 towards Toledo for five kilometres. N400 goes under AVE high-speed train line. N400 expands to four lanes. (*) Just after the N400 goes to four lanes, take the first RIGHT at the first roundabout onto Avenida Vía Tarpeya to get into the Santa María de Benquerencia industrial estate. Turn LEFT onto Calle del Río Jarama at the wind generator factory At the end of Calle del Río Jarama, the road forks. Take RIGHT fork and go over the train tracks, following the path as you keep the train tracks to your immediate left. This path will eventually merge with the removed train tracks. Path goes under motorway cloverleaf interchange. At the first paved road after the path, turn LEFT. Immediately after you turn left, you’ll come out at the Ronda de la Rosa roundabout. Turn RIGHT and follow Paseo de la Rosa for 800 metres. Roundabout in front of the Toledo train station. Cross street to get to other side to get to Calle Cabrahigos. Take first RIGHT onto Calle Subida del Hospital and ride all the way to the top. Castillo de San Servando Youth Hostel.

Day Fifteen

Aranjuez to Toledo (42.4 km)
Start point: Aranjuez RENFE train station: 40º 02’05.34 N // 3º 37’05.08” W Where to get food and water: There are no bars or fountains between the train station and the limits of the industrial estate. Make sure you’ve got enough water until you get to Toledo! If you want to get food before leaving Aranjuez, or want to grab breakfast early before the bars open, the train station’s cafeteria is open at 5:00AM every day. How to get there: RENFE Cercanías (commuter) trains leave every halfhour from Madrid’s Puerta de Atocha train station. Keep in mind: Most of today’s ride takes place along dirt roads that are frequented by tractors. The farmers are used to mountain bikers using these routes during the weekends, but may be surprised to see you if you’re biking mid-week. Once you get to Las Infantas, make sure that you know where you are relative to the rail line and the N400 highway – they’re your guides to getting into Toledo safely. What to see: Toledo is a history buff’s dream. Once you get to the city, make an immediate beeline for the city’s tourist office, which is one of the most efficient and best-organized in Spain. Keep in mind, though, that Toledo’s monuments are all closed on Mondays. Where to sleep: We stayed at the friendly and efficient Albergue Juvenil Castillo de San Servando, which only has one disadvantage: there’s no bike storage area. Most of Toledo’s other accommodation options are located uphill in the centre of the city, in and around the Plaza de Zocodover. Toledo’s campsite, Camping El Greco, is located on the southwest side of the city. Book ahead if you’re going to be staying in the city on a Friday or Saturday night!

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A special word of thanks goes to José Manuel Benayas of the Club Ciclista Yepes, who generously provided his time and advice to get us safely into Toledo. If you see him or any of the great guys from CC Yepes, buy them a beer!