26 July Back to Spain! Miranda Do Douro to Zamora

I was going to Zamora to meet Dolores, my colleague from Disney. It was just 60km away so I thought it would be an easy day.

So I went to meet up with Miguel also known as Schrek, who was a friend of Tomas, and one of the organizers of a local festival called L Burro i L Gueiteiro
which means the donkey and the piper.

It’s a local festival where they walk through the fields with donkeys while playing bagpipes. It also was a free lunch and after the previous day’s exertions it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. It was a very relaxing afternoon in the fields, and I sat on the dry grass under the shade of a tree and chatted with some Portugese people who could speak English. They were very interested in the adventure that I was on but thought that 220km in one day was crazy.  Although I was having a lovely time I needed to get back to the bike and start cycling to Zamora. But the lunch and the goodbyes seemed to take forever, and I didn’t start cycling until around 6pm.

Leaving Miranda Do Douro meant going down a mountain and although it was great to be back in Spain as soon as I crossed a bridge, I was welcomed by a a huge climb. Then after a climb into a national park, I made an error. I should have turned right which would have been a longer ride, but relatively flat. Instead I turned left as it looked quicker on the map. Well it wasn’t. A shorter distance yes, but after a few km I went downhill very rapidly to a bridge and then it was a steep uphill for a long time.

My legs were still aching from the day before and were not happy about climbing more hills. I cursed my stupid decision. The map clearly showed that I would need to cross a river. Rivers run through valleys, not along nice flat routes. I should have known. Also I was cross at myself for leaving so late. I was going to be late to meet Dolores and she had been waiting all day for me. The other problem was that the route I had chosen, the N122, merges with the Autopista and bicycles are not allowed. Well I wasn’t going back, and the lane on the side of the road was big enough so I carried on. With the exception of two short climbs, it was a fast flat stretch before the road split again and I was back onto the National road and away from the traffic.

I called Dolores to apologise for being so late and she came to meet me. And the final part of the bike ride was simply following her to a little house which was her family’s summer house and was all mine for the night, including the contents of the fridge! We went for a catch up with Tapas and a drink in Zamora. It was great to see Dolores again and it was so nice of her to let me stay in their little summer house.

3144km so far.