Yesterday, Day 8, was a rest day exploring Salamanca. We resumed cycling today, and we’re well into the groove now – Groove Armada, in the case of Nigel’s hub-dynamo-powered, bluetooth-speaker onboard sound system – and today was a full day of very enjoyable cycling on, yes, the almost untrafficked N630 on a warm sunny day across the easy Castilian plains (pic).
North of Salamanca, the austere colours of Extremadura give way to the more varied palette of Castile and Leon: rust-reds, verdant greens, luminescent yellows.
The landscape, I mean, not my face, my bike frame, and Nigel’s cycling top respectively, though they apply too.
After 40 miles of blissful fast quiet smooth biking, we had a picnic lunch in the centre of Zamora, approached by another Roman bridge (pic). The Spanish are friendly. A little too friendly here, as I was buttonholed by an over-touchy-feely local drunk who blathered on about how much he hated the French and loved the English, or possibly vice versa. We made our excuses and left. Fast.
During the day, we encountered more sheep on the road than we did cars. Though the sheep came all at once, in a flock of a hundred or so, in Cuba del Vino. That’s a place, not a wine box.
We’re now in Benavente and our wonderful parador for the night, giving us a touch of the luxurious high life.
Things like large rooms in this converted old castle, a fine historic bar in the old tower, two sinks to wash out your cycling gear in, and a balcony to hang it out to dry.
Miles today: 82
Miles since Cádiz: 478