Departing this morning from the “hotel” I anguished over whether to cycle to Almedia. I’m generally cycling east and north, with the 17th century Almeida fortress 20 km to the north. I intended to spend the night at a campground 65 km to the east, so adding 40 km north significantly extended the day. Mountains on the way to Almedia, and no great route lead back out of Almeida without more mountains. Mountains hold less appeal than they might otherwise after the last few days. In the end I decided to head east; with a good day I might make it to Salamanca, 120 km away.
1 km later I uneventfully crossed the border into Spain, and in the first hour covered 18 km. An almost perfectly straight road led to Salamanca, with a tailwind assist. Arriving in Ciudad Rodrigo 30 km from the I stopped for lunch in front of the castle (which the heathens converted to a four-star hotel). I also stumbled across a VodaCom store, and updated my cell service to work in Spain.
By early afternoon I passed the campground in La Fuente de San Esteban, and optimistically continued on to Salamanca. Travelling again on a primary highway abandoned for a newer super-highway, the hulks of old gas stations and hotels littered the road. Tractors comprised most of the traffic I encountered today. What a boring ride (as much as cycling across Europe can be), although with spectaclar skies. I eventually pulled up an audio book to entertain me.
30 km outside of Salamanca at 3 pm, I reserved a bed in a hostel. While my knees began to ache at about 110 km, I found the lovely Erasmus Home Hostel near the center of the old city with no issues. I wandered about a bit while searching for dinner – what a lovely city! Cities wake up in the evening as part of the Spanish (and Portuguese ) siesta culture.
Chatting back and forth with Sam we’ve revised the plan to less chaotic, which should provide us both more time to find our way home. I’m now marginally within range of making it to Santander, and no longer have to, so now I take it a bit easy for a bit. So I mean it this time; I’m spending tomorrow wandering the city as a pedestrian.
Mid-day I crossed 1000 km since the beginning of the tour, and 124 km for the day by the time I reached the hostel.