Monday 4 July … Castelo Branco to Nisa

It’s 12.10′ she says; ‘it can’t be … we haven’t been riding for 3 hours!” … we are so close to the Spanish border the time on my mobile has changed.

After 15km of busy roads the landscape changes to quiet roads of forests of pines and Tasmanian Blue gums.

What a wonderful day filled with an easier ride than expected. Before crossing the Tejo River we stop for a coffee.  We are far away from the tourist destination, coffee is €0.65. 

The fun begins… the climbing … John says my mental maths is wrong … it was only 4.2km … We get car honks of encouragement … I get in my zone … John goes ahead. A great descent and another climb this is not so bad … a water fountain on the way, how lovely the taste of fresh cool water.

We are in Nisa at 1.30pm gorgeous tidy town we are staying at pension at the back of a bar. Lunch is off the blackboard … something pork. 2 large beers John orders … no! I’ll have white wine … jug please. John’s beer arrives and a large jug of red wine appears … okay that will do. I’ve now become a wine connoisseur … it tastes of cherries. The pork stew was amazingly tasty. Next to us is a young man who acts as interpreter … he’s from Lisbon and visiting his grandmother, first time in 2 years due to Covid. Grandmother is at the table she is 97 next week and looks fantastic.

We check in, shower then nap for 2 hours … whew maybe that wine was a little stronger than I thought.

What an unexpected gem … a visit to the library … they are celebrating 100 years today and fireworks later tonight. We are on a roll … the old town is lovely to stroll around and picturesque .. back to the bar … we are the new kids in town, the local elderly gentleman are here, beers and red wine is flowing. The bar is starting to close so we find a restaurant to eat … haha some of the gentlemen are in the bar … umm a pub crawl.

The town is in suspence waiting for 10pm … not sure who got the biggest thrills we see about 15 high schools kids in a square and chat about their age and where we are from, their English is good and we all have a laugh. The fireworks begin and the town are all gathered to watch … lovely community event.


Monday 2 April … Dubai to Barcelona

Are we there yet?

A 3.5hr wait in Dubai to catch up on sleep.  I was able to complete my wordle; quordle; etc, etc those games have become quite a part of my daily routine … they say it is good for your brain … haha.

The plane was full so just sit still and enjoy the movie and food, upon landing a nice clear view of the city and surrounding hills … umm do we know what we are in for?

We landed at 1.30pm , it seemed to take forever for our luggage and bikes.  Assembling the bikes in a quiet corner at the airport then off we go.  Not to mention John not feeling well on our arrival so a couple of big vomits (his words). He still felt unwell and was comforted by a negative RAT rest later in the hotel some hours later.

Gamin was having trouble finding satellites and we, also were trying to get out of the airport into a street that looked like it wasn’t a freeway.  Finally after some toing and froing and a conversation with a local we were able find a well disguised bike underpass in a paid car park that took us on a cycle way out of the airport. We thought of the grandies as planes were landing just above our heads.

Gamin finally found our course and with the help of my phone we were off heading towards the city. The hotel was on the north so we had a 25km ride on dedicated cycle paths through the city. The paths were part of the road and divided by small speed humps so quite safe, we shared the paths with lots of locals on bikes and scooters. One person was talking her dog on a run which was a sight for my eyes.

It seemed to take forever to get to the hotel and it did; two and a half hours later we were glad to find our accommodation, shower and quick bite to eat at a local Cafe then a catch up sleep. Wow we are here in Spain … it hasn’t sunk in yet.