When I left the campground in Guarda this morning Reception remained closed with no method provided to pay for my site. An early long downhill run led me to hope for the end of my mountain-climbing days, but to no avail. Continuing on N16, I encountered little traffic.
Drivers often beep slightly to let me know when they come up behind me. What traffic I encountered involved a lot of shouting. And frantic beeping of horns. Fist pumps. Thumbs up. Dozens of people shouted and displayed encouragement for me as I climbed my way forward.
I stopped for lunch next to a mountain stream and lake.
Afterwards I stopped in Castle Bom, a walled city on top of a hill. No fortress, just buildings (still in use) in varying states of decay.
As I cross the mountain range, the terrain changes. I encountered Sstunning scenery as the geologic composition of the rocks changed.
For a short day, I stopped in Vilar Formoso, a border city to Spain. A strange little town, almost every building displays a sign showing they’re a cafe, restaurant, and hotel or hostel. It reminds me eevery so slightly of South of the Border. I stayed in a small motel at the edge of town (with almost everything in town at the edge of town). Unimpressive from the outside, but a pleasant room on the inside, with a storage shed out back for the bicycle. I wandered Vilar Formoso looking for dinner, with most everything closed on Sunday. Stopping into a cafe, the owner walked me outside and down the street to point out the only restaurant still open.
I spent a relaxed late afternoon and evening watching Gulliver’s Travels in Portuguese, chatting with Sam, and integrating hostels and hotels onto my paper map so I could better visualize my options. I also found an old canal with a cycle path that runs alongside the canel some 200 km in the middle of Spain which I can work into my path.