Day 33- Castelo Branco to Coria- Portugal and Spain
Grant left at 8am...a wonderful start with the temperature at 28 degrees and blue skies setting the tone for a fabulous day enjoying the scenery, the weather and being on the bike.
After consulting a local cyclist, a change of route meant that 1500m of climbing on gravel track could be avoided on this day and 123km later and after a 1000m of climbing, Grant was very thankful that he had chosen to follow Pedro's advice.
A mild day beckoned- in more ways than one. Crazybikeguy had enjoyed a layover in Castelo Branco and had eaten very well, stocked up on protein and carbs and was feeling rested and ready to head north to Escalos de Baixo.
Following an easterly direction and then heading towards the Spanish border was not difficult riding but a pit stop for refueling was required and Grant found a quaint town called Termas de Monfortinho where he stopped at a local spot for a bite. There was still a fair distance to pedal before he got to Coria so it was really a necessary meal stop at this stage.
He noticed that whilst riding in Portugal that the road sides were very clean- with a hardly any rubbish littering the adjoining roadside areas.On entering Spain the difference was immediately noticeable and Grant mentioned that it reminded him of our time in Greece - it was something that we noticed on every single island- the amount of plastic bottles and rubbish just lying on the side of almost every road.
Crazybikeguy made good time and made it to Meladas and pressed on to Coria.
Along the way as he cycled through farm lands; a maze of interesting mini aqua ducts caught his attention as this system was prevalent over many kilometers and obviously used as a form of channeling water for watering various plantations in this part of Spain.These were even equipped metal sluice gates on sections so that separate parts of the vineyards or land could be watered and water could be channeled into various areas.
In both Portugal and Spain along this Eastern path it became clear that vineyards covered most of the land changing from lush greenery to browner hues as the territory into Spain changed, still beautiful but gradually getting drier the further east Grant traveled.
Once Crazybikeguy arrived in Coria he found a place to stay near the beautiful Cathedral in the picturesque center of the old part of town. With an early arrival, a long walk in this beautiful little town was on the cards and while the sun was still high and the light perfect for photographs.
" It was a perfect day. A great ride, wonderful weather, beautiful and interesting scenery and I went to a local place for an artisanal hamburger and it was probably the best hamburger I have ever eaten....ever!"
- Grant voice note
Crazybike guy had also learnt from the preceding days and had taken extra water, had really focused on his nutrition and was feeling really good- so the next day beckoned with a further foray into central
Spain with Toledo in his sights!
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