Day 46 - Spain

27 January 2022

Slept well. Buffet breakfast. Three returns. Moderation is key.

Head out for a shorter ride to Vila Real de Santo António. Big name, small village. We cross to Ayamonte via ferry. Spain.

We start out on a busy road. Easy riding but hectic. Noisy. We soon turn off to quiet backroads. Citrus orchards, olive trees, and flocks of sheep. It is sunny and mild. Maybe a little windy. Idyllic riding.

In some small village, I mess that up. Shell is ahead but I am directing. We hit a roundabout, I tell her we are going left. It is windy and there are cars. She rides straight. Thinking she didn’t hear me, I shout left again. She keeps going, I shout louder and louder. She makes a u-turn and we are back on track.

At the next water break. Silence. She thought I was angrily yelling at her to turn left. Embarrassing her. Shouting at her while people were around. I explained that I was shouting because I thought she didn’t hear me. I should have apologised. I didn’t. I dug my heels in. The next 15 km were in silence. A shame. It was a beautiful ride.

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” ― Sophocles

We hit Vila Real de Santo António and the water. Shell organises a place to stay in Ayamonte while I sort out ferry tickets. Ferry ticket office closed. Signs in Portuguese explain everything. I don’t understand Portuguese.

An old man wanders up. He is deaf. Slowly but surely we sign our way to the conclusion that the ferry no longer operates. Interesting. I double-check at a construction site next door. Correct. Ferry no longer in operation. Not good. In the distance is the Puente Internacional del Guadiana. A huge bridge spanning the river. It looks like a fair ride. What can you do? It is our only option.

Puente Internacional del Guadiana does not allow bicycles. Really? We are running short of options. Puente Internacional del Bajo Guadiana is the next bridge across. Over 100 km away.

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

We seem to be stuck. Uber is giving us no options. I start asking locals who own vans if they will take us across. I get one guy who agrees. If we wait until 6.00 pm and we pay him 50 euros. Not ideal. Shell, once again, comes up with the solution. A  local taxi who can take us one at a time with the bike.

Shell departs while I wait. 30 minutes later I am heading over the Puente Internacional del Guadiana. I can see why it does not allow bikes. Dual lane. Freeway. No shoulder.

Lunch in Spain. The clocks are an hour forward. It is 4.30 pm. We eat light. Dinner tonight with the time difference. It was not a memorable meal.

I think I got some sun today. Feel hot. Tired. Nice to be back in Spain.

Read. Bed


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