We are now 13 days into our trip, and we have adjusted to life on the bikes pretty quickly. Our time in Portugal sped by, and we are now a decent way into Spain. Sleeping in a tent, riding most of the day and eating breakfast in a supermarket carpark now seems totally normal.
We have cycled in the parque natural da serra de Estrela, and it was amazing. For days we had been heading towards two snow-topped mountains, the roads getting hillier and the views more epic, so to finally find ourselves at the top, in the snow, was incredible. The climb up to the top however, was brutal. Steep and hairpinned, and seemed never ending. We climbed though massive rock formations, along the mountain side until reaching a ski-village and the snow line. The snow drifts along the road were big, and the mountain top towering above us nearly completly white. There was a big reservoir and dam at the top which looked a little out of place but really awesome. We got up to around 1600m before turning off to Manteigas and starting a very long descent.
We sped downwards, curling along the mountainside and into a long glacial valley, dropping from snow-covered rocks to lush greenery. Zipping past waterfalls and viewpoints on the most amazing road to cycle on.
Unfortunately we arrived at another two campsites which both turned out to be closed before booking a b+b in Guarda. So Portugal was a bit of a mixed bag. From the national park, the roads were big and a little busy, but with a tailwind and a net downhill gradient we sped into Spain.
So far in Spain we have ticked off the miles on the N-620, a big road which is now essentially empty as a new motorway has been built along side it. It’s been nearly all flat or downhill, with a strong tailwind, and we have made good time and also been practicing our singing duets as the road has been pretty boring. Jim’s phone broke but we managed to find a CEX in Salamanca to get him a replacement, and we have had alot of rain, and some snow! Nights have been cold, and the campsites more expensive but nicer than Portugal.
Due to sore bums and the Easter weekend we decided to have a day off in Tordesillas, a nice little Riverside town near Valladolid, and we spent Easter Sunday lolling around the campsite in the sun. I got a short run in, we played mini-golf and did a whole load of washing.
Today was more of the same, but we are heading towards the parque natural de Sierra cebollera, so I’m hoping the riding gets more interesting soon!
Jim – Pleasent, Picturesque, Quiet, Tailwind, Fun, Relaxing, Vineyards.