Toro was a real find. Lovely hotel over looking the Duoro.
I left about 9.30 for what seemed a quite leisurely ride. It didn’t seem too strenuous and it wasn’t – but I wasn’t fizzing today. That may have been due to the relaxing 5 pints and 2 vino’s that I had over supper. Blame Auntie Barb.
The drop down from the hotel to the river was a little hairy but I was soon on my way through the different countryside along the Duoro. The Tarmac was crap with every bump vibrating up my spine in a most unpleasant way. Not much to report really apart from the fact that it was all very green in contrast to the last few days which is logical if you remember you geography lessons from school and the proximity to the Duoro. The key change today was the very little wind and it was baking hot rising to 95 about 3pm. I didn’t notice anything after that as I was focussed on getting to Fermoselle.
The flat land that I thought was the order of the day changed as I passed Zamora to my right. I was about 8k south. I stopped for coffee and a snack at a strange cafe. More like a council workers canteen. They were all in their in their day glow uniforms. Breakfast was the worst thing about the hotel. I’ve come to love “Batata tortillia” for breakfast. It’s great to cycle on. You can turn those pedals for 2-3 hours on that stuff. It’s basically a thick potato omlett – by thick I’m talking at least half an inch. Thick, stodgy and often a little runny. Wonderful!! But the kitchen in Toro was closed so it was toast. I had my fill of tortillia in the council workers cafe and then off again.
I was making good progress until i came across the road that looked like a bomb site (see twitter photos) where I had to pick my way through the craters – if I’d have gone in one you’d have not seen me again!! The bike stood the test.
I took the photo below at the end of that road – storks nesting on the church tower. You see these everywhere.
Progress after that was good but I was too happy to stop and take photos. I had my David Bailey head on. God only knows how they look to you guys – after all I haven’t got my glasses on and it’s too bright to see the screen any way – oh and I’ve lost the glass to the lense to the camera. Not a good mixture! Just looking at it now – you’ll need to look at the metal cross in zoom mode!
Everything after then was baron. Back to golden brown parched field of harvested corn. After another coffee shop and a long straight road the open fields changed to Yorkshire style dry stone walls. This wasn’t too far from home and I over ruled the Garmin to charge the last 13k. I just wanted to be there before the hot part of the day. Mum used to say that the heat of the day was 12 til 2pm – “mad dogs and Englishmen” and all that. No chance – hottest part of the day is definitely 4 til 5. By then I was in a bar watching Le Tour with the owner – communicating via Google Translator. He was pleased that the spaniard won. I was amazed that Geriant Thomas got up. If you’ve not seen it – watch it.
I can now see Portugal from my hotel which can’t be more than 3 km as the crow flies. Unfortunately I suspect I’ve got to go down about a 1000 ft first – which means a 1000ft climb back up in the morning.
So it’s off to bed for me – big day ahead but not before I stop on the bridge for a photo, knowing that;
- I’m in Portugal
- The clock goes back an hour – just for crossing the line
More tomorrow – Vila Nova de Foz Coa here I come!!