Although uneventful, today had a few moments of delight with glorious views, sweeping rivers and cobbled streets. I didn’t take so many pictures although probably should have done.
About halfway today, I came across a beautiful river, amazing bridge and a large pond full of weed. On this pond an old man was piloting a large red weed remover/dredger to clear it out. It of course was a beautiful place to stop and have a break. However just before you reach this lovely spot, you cross over a main road into I guess the car park for here. On the side of the road was a tall, high-heeled lady wearing a very small red leather skirt. Now if you have ever been to this part of Europe, prostitutes are common in places like these especially in remote car parks next to main roads. As I set of down a dusty track, the old man was taking the lady towards some bushes. Of course I went the wrong way (again!) and not more than 3 minutes later I had realised and when doubling back to the pond, the old man was walking back to his barge as the lady came back putting her hair back up. It was hot day so I guess being quick saved getting over heated.
If you look at the map below just before you get to Albergaria-a-Velha, you can see a big loop. The main route bridge was out. Now this was one of the times I wish I’d had a riding companion as it did looked ride-able but as I was on my own, didn’t take the risk. I regret that now and wish I had tried to cross the river there. Instead there was a sizeable rather hilly detour to get back on track.
I stopped in Albergaria-a-Velha for lunch and had a meal of bread and oranges bought from and old man selling them from a wooden cart in a park. It was a peaceful place with good shade under the trees for food and a nap. The rather uneventful day finished in the town of Oliveira de Azemeis where a 4* Hotel offered a very good pilgrim deal. As I stank, needed a good sleep, shower and beer, I gave in and stayed the night. There is nothing like walking into a posh hotel with marble floors in your rank cycling kit and bike.
It was now time for a rest and getting ready for day 5 when I would get to Porto and finally the sea.