Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Rainy Start with a Dry finish to Oviedo
Our hotel at breakfast was filled with pilgrims. We were the last to leave and were expecting to be passing everyone over the days journey.
Once in the woods and off the pavement we realized that we were the first and only tracks on the trail. Slippery and wet. at times even on the flat it was impossible to ride the bike. The rear wheel would slip about a 1/3 of a turn with each pedal stroke. Very beautiful, the trail has changed a lot now that we have left the coast and are heading inland.
We climbed a cement road 1300 feet at a 19% grade for over an hour. The places we passed that we climbed toa half hour ago were now way below. Soaking wet from sweat, we finally came out to the highway, well marked for us to follow down hill to the right.
After dropping about 300'. we found a little restaurant that was opened. It was 12:30 and a little early for them to be serving lunch. They were more then happy to make us 2 great ham and cheese sandwiches with sliced tomato. Wonderful! Cold beer for me and water with gas for Barbara.
After lunch and back on the road, we stripped off our tights and finished the rest of the days ride, mostly off road in dark, moss covered trails. Too rocky at times with loose rolling rocks about the size of golf balls, we walked at times as to not take any chances.
We are in Chestnut forests. the trails at times are covered with freshly fallen Chestnuts. Tennis sized balls with sharp points, its hard not to smile when you see them and avoid them with the tires. There isn't a chance of puncture, but its just best to stay off of them.
Nearing the city, the mark had us back on the highway into town. We passed pilgrims along the way but none that we recognized. All this time we thought that all pilgrims stayed on the walking trail, but today proved differently.
We reached the center of town around 5:00. We had difficulty finding the hotel. We walked pushing the bike trying to follow the gps that really wasn't any help until we switched to searching for the address instead of the name of the hotel.
People at the hotels this trip have been great. We have never felt once that the tandem was unsafe. We haven't once used our U-lock and have left the heavy New York Chain behind.
Tomorrow is a day off the bike. Oviedo is a very large city with an historic "Old Town" We are staying close to the Cathedral and can gear bells chime every 15 minuets. Nice if you don't mind the sound, and we don't. We look forward to the day off the bike not because were tired but want to spend a little time seeing what we otherwise would be missing by just staying on the road to Santiago