Phew. Day 1 is over. In a rhetorical answer to my question yesterday, Nat, as to whether 110 kms a day would be enough: yes it is. I’ve just had a shower, stretched, devoured a sandwich and some cereal (yes, I know it’s the afternoon and, yes, I know I’m no longer a student) and just about feel human again. Turns out the extra 10kgs on the bike is quite noticeable when it’s 25 degrees and hilly.
I’m going to keep it brief as I want to go enjoy a cool beer in the gardens of this amazing B&B half way between Porto and Santiago de Compostela shortly… So, what did I learn today?
- Minor mechanicals turn into major incidents when you have bags on your bike and are too lazy to take them off before trying to get a chain back on. 100 metres from the hotel you've just set off from. Grazed leg, bruised ego.
- It's difficult to tell the difference between a stonemason's forecourt and a graveyard. Apparently the route I took today is the most popular place in the world to site a stonemasons. So if you're after a headstone, you know where to come.
- Portugal appear to have Grade II Listed potholes. Wonderful newly laid roads with massive potholes around manhole covers left in place.
- However hard you try to stop it, your Garmin will always try to route you via a major trunk road where bikes are prohibited. Twice.
- When sitting down to lunch, remember that banana you stowed in the back pocket of your jersey.
- All the planning in the world, and technology will still get the upper hand. Apparently my phone and my Garmin have now had a falling out and don't want to talk to each other any more. Even after I tested it thoroughly.
And a message to hoteliers in my future. Yes, I do generally like talking about politics and the upcoming EU referendum we’re having in the UK but not just as I’ve arrived after a long ride.
All in all, a good first day. Tough, but good. I’m now wondering how good an idea that little detour I added in the French Alps to take in Alp d’Huez was.
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