I am in Porto. Or Oporto.
125km today. 2756km so far.
I woke up under a bridge at 5.30am. After trying to sleep some more, I eventually gave up, and started packing up. It was still dark. So it felt a bit wierd, but I started cycling.
At Vila Nova de Cerveria, the town was empty, but the decorations were nice so i cycled through town. i hoped there might be some way to cycle along the river Minho. and luckily i found a red cycle path that went along the river for a few km. By 9am I was in Caminha and I had cycled 30km. The sun had barely surfaced and it was dead. I cycled around the town. There were medieval stalls and decorations everywhere but nobody about except a few police and a few old men. I said Bon Dia.
Later I realized that the Portuguese have their clocks an hour behind the Spanish. So it was actually 8am.
The cycling was much flatter than previous weeks. There was some climbing of course but much gentler than Galicia and Asturias.
I met a couple of Portuguese cyclists. Enrique cycled with me for a while and Arnaldo in front. Drafting was nice and it helped my pace. I chatted to Enrique who told me that we have a new baby. Apparently Princess Kate Middleton had a boy already. As if Chris Froome winning the Tour de France and the lions thumping the aussies wasn’t enough.
The British are great. Fact.
I learned a little about Portuguese football and also a bit about their town, Viana de Costela. I stopped for a coffee, it was a really beautiful street with a view of the church at the top of the hill. A french couple who live in the town were on a tandem and tried to have a conversation with me. a mix of French and English got us nowhere but we wished each other a nice day. And then I rode over the bridge , which was designed by the guy who designed the Eiffel Tower.
I met another cyclist later, 61 years old, by the name of Antonio. He passed me but the we got into conversation as I stuck on his back wheel. On the flat I was faster than him, but we coasted along as he told me about his travels when he was on a similar bike to mine. He also took me to the cycle path by the beach at Póvoa de Varzim, It goes along for 10km. It was a nice gentle ride with a beach and as Antonio put it, “girls to look at”. I had to agree it was Better than a big dull road. I had about 25km to go. It seemed to take forever. Porto is like a city built on either side of a river. You climb to get in. You climb to get out. I found a campsite in Madalena called Orbitur. It was ok but the wifi didn’t work and I couldn’t charge my satnav overnight. A cold beer at the bar and a good night’s sleep though so that was good.
I am in Porto. Or Oporto.