Day 19 – Rest day in Porto

i’d been looking forward to this day for a few days. A chance to get of the bike for a few hours, stick up again on energy snacks and hydration tablets – and to get some work done on the bike. In addition I now have a partner in crime for the last week of the trip. 

Pedro (Live Love Ride rather than my self appointed tour guide in my way into Porto) had recommended a bike shop to use. It happened to be about 5-6km away from the hotel but I’d decided that I was definitely not riding my bike. Having spoken to the guys at Bikezone, I jumped in a taxi with the bike and took it over. The bar tape had moved to expose the bars and I wanted the rear cassette and dérailleur (gears) cleaning properly. Ever since the first day in France the rear cogs had looked grubby and clogged up. I handed over the bike and left. Nick arrived at the shop and we went exploring around the hotel – in the rain!!! Can you believe it – ladies had their brollies up and rain coats on. 

On this little adventure we went to the post office to buy a box to send some stuff to Barbs – stuff that I wasn’t using. I’d have ditched the rain jacket but I didn’t think it wise with rain pissing down outside. I introduced Nick to Pastel de Nata and purchased some new bike gloves. Since the first week I’ve suffered from numb fingers – pins and needles in my little fingers. Let’s hope the new gloves alleviate some of the problem. 

I popped into a barbers and had my side burns trimmed. No charge said the barber! Back at the hotel I booked all the remaining hotels to the end of the trip and then we to collect the bike. The job that Bikezone did on the bike was just fantastic. It looks like new again. Bar tape back in place and gears cleaned and like new again. Just fantastic and very reasonably priced – about a tenner. We dropped the bike back and headed into Porto. 

By day is easier to see the place (stands to reason). Narrow granite streets, very old grand buildings. We just went from bar to bar as just wandered around. I took Nick into a typically Portuguese bar – we had a couple of beers watching the end of the tour and enjoyed Bacleo (not sure how to spell it – salt cod) and a few other bits. Our bar crawl – in the name of exploration and touristic pursuits lasted till the early hours and included the sampling of Port and listening to a Brazillian bar on the roof top of our hotel. 

Thankfully, Pedro has made it an easy day on Saturday. It will need to be

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