Towards the border...

Written by  Saturday, 21 June 2014 19:11
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We headed to Arganil yesterday. The roads were boring, but it was in the right direction. Traffic lights, industrial areas, and towns all the way. At the end we hit a good road, nice and twisty, single carriageway, not too many towns and villages.

On the way we stopped to check out direction, and were greeted by ex-pats in the bar opposite. He confirmed we were on the right road, and had two choices of site, so we headed on. It felt good to know we were not lost!

Today we headed towards the border with Spain. The clouds that have followed us for a couple of days finally opened and rained on us. The smell of rain on hot tarmac, and fir trees. Lush. We did need to dig out waterproofs, but it was still rather pleasant, as rain goes!

We had views over valleys as we wound our way through the hills. Patchwork fields and hedgerows, more fruit, olive, and fir trees. Even a couple of rivers in the valleys. For me, this was the kind of road worth riding across Europe for. The road-signs still leave a lot to be desired.

They want you to use the big toll roads, so at those junctions local signs disappear. The towns and villages signed aren't on the map, or the iPad, which don't match each other either. All this makes navigation 'challenging', and Zane frustrated.

We passed a site at Mogadouro about 4ish, decided to continue to Miranda Do Douro. There were two sites there, and it's closer to the border. More good roads, but no camp-site. The first is a Municipal site, but it's being re-modelled, so it is currently closed.

Optimistically we headed on to the second site, which turns out to be a hotel. A lovely court yard hotel with pools and cobblestones. As the next site is unknown we have stayed in the hotel. Another night of luxury, for which my neck will be very grateful!

I pledge my first day's wages to Jason Bradford and his amazing Osteopathic hands. My neck has been getting tighter and more uncomfortable for two days now. I adjusted my pillows last night (well, micro towel, blow up pillow and child's elephant pillow) to try and ease it, but it's gotten uncomfortable again as the day has gone on.

Stretching has spread the ache, and now I'm probably not moving normally, which never helps. Painkillers it is then. A quick assessment of the remaining journey says we'll probably reach Bilbao Monday lunchtime, hopefully book the ferry for Tuesday morning.