Day 24 - Wet
5 January 2022
Up early. Porridge. Packed. Overcast but not raining. I decide to put my raincoat on. The fog looks thick. 9.00 am we head off.
9.01 am it rains. On we go. The entire trip is along the river on a cycleway. It is a beautiful track. We wind our way along. Weather is clearing according to the internet. We get three minutes of dry weather. Then it rains heavier.
Wet. We push on. It is fun in the rain. I am still warm from neck to waist. Just my head and legs are wet. The rain gets heavier.
Around 11.00 am the wind picks up. Cold and wet. I wonder about the Ortlieb panniers. Are they really waterproof? We will find out.
The morning moves on and the rain continues. The original plan was to make Caminha and move on from there. We made Caminha and found somewhere warm and dry.
It was a 30 km day. On a dry day, it would have been 50 km. Riding in the rain and wind saps the energy. It was a fun day. A short day. Three hours in the saddle.
”It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” - Ernest Hemmingway
Hang our wet gear out. Grab a warm shower. Head out for some lunch. Sopa do dia for us both. Shell has a steak sandwich. I have the Francesinha, a Portuguese specialty. Imagine a steak sandwich, with ham, egg, melted cheese. Served in a tomato and beer sauce. Delicious.
We grab some vegetables on the way home. Our place has a kitchen. Huge mushrooms. They smell like fresh earth and truffles. I grab some purê de tomate, garlic, onion, goat’s cheese. Mushroom ragù with pasta for dinner.
The goat's cheese is cloth wrapped. Smells like taleggio. It is very ripe. Cracks on the edges. Soft in the center. Moves like lava. It is all you can smell when you walk into the kitchen. I might eat it and use the Parmigiano Reggiano on the ragú. It is at the bottom of one of the panniers.
I head out for some wine. Stumble on Garrafeira Baco. I have been to two wine retailers in Portugal. Both in small towns. Both with an amazing range of vintage ports and aged wines. The prices are so good. The proprietor is proud of his shop. As he should be. He walks me through his range even though I told him I am not buying any port. He then gives me a tasting of Krohn 10 Year Tawny. Delicious. He tells me they have been purchased by Port giant Taylors. All the Krohn stock and the name. He seems disappointed.
I grab a bottle of Dão that he recommends. I am yet to have a bad bottle from the region.
Tonight's wine -
2019 Toboadella Dão Villae
Dinner is good. I ate the goat's cheese. Shell thought it was a little funky for her tasting.
Tomorrow we ride. Rain, hail, or shine. If it is fine I am hoping for 50 km. If it is cold, raining, and windy, 30 km might do. Forecast is for scattered showers. We will see. The forecast was scattered showers today. Lies.
Today's ride -