Day 42 - Hill climb
23 January 2022
Today looked tough on paper. Short distance, 41 km. Tough climbs. The day before was not great. We were apprehensive about today.
There was a motor of some kind next to our room. It would kick in, wind up, stop. Repeat. Kept me awake. Regardless, I felt good when I woke up. Breakfast. Packed and on the road before 9.00 am.
Hills and headwinds forecast.
The first 10 km came and went. On the same road as yesterday. The next 10 km had the start of the climb. Stopped for a coffee and realised we were well into the hills.
Shell just keeps going. Relentless. Up and up we go in the low gears. She just keeps going. Even if I feel like a break I have to keep up. Keep pushing. In all honesty, it was better riding than the day before. As we get to the top there is one last steep push. Steepest of the day, 13% incline. Shell just pushes through and we are at the top. The views are amazing.
The last 10 km we just coast down. It will be the same downhill tomorrow to Faro.
Today was meant to be tough. Maybe I built it up in my mind. It was one of the best days riding I have had.
“Wilderness and motors are incompatible and the former can best be experienced, understood and enjoyed when the machines are left behind where they belong -- on the superhighways and in the parking lots, on the reservoirs and in the marinas.” ― Edward Abbey
All done by 1.30 pm. Showers and lunch. I have never seen a place so busy. I would guess 60 - 70 seated and another 10 - 12 waiting. We get our table. Bread, local black pig charcuterie, and local cheese. We passed black pigs on the ride. I want to order the pork cheeks. We go with lamb stew and roasted lamb. Two bottles of vino tinto. Worth the wait.
Shell orders the local spirit. Made from some fruit I have never heard of. I have watched the locals drink it. I watch their faces. Looks like they are drinking fire. Shell takes a sip. Her face tells the story. Politely refuse.
In the room. Tired. Should sleep. I need a new book. Edward Abbey or Anthony Bourdain I am thinking. Shell wants dinner. Might get the pork cheeks after all.
Faro tomorrow. Six days of riding and Portugal rode from north to south.
“You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You are the storm.” ― Sam Harris
Wines at lunch -
2016 Dão Sul Dão Cabriz
2016 Dão Sul Cabriz Reserva
Today’s ride -