Spain/Portugal TET Ride 2017. Day 5 Almeida to Castelo Branco

Boxing Day

We woke up at hotel. Breakfast was pretty crap, the coffee was awful. I managed half a cup and didn’t eat anything. Chris had a croissant or something and a couple of coffees.

I guess I’m just too fussy and would rather wait for something better to eat.

We packed our bags and bikes and Chris eventually found a way to hold the fuel tank to stop it coming off, he decided to strap it to his back using zip ties and put less fuel in it. That way he could carry it and it wouldn’t be such a pain in the butt falling off or coming undone every time!

We rolled out of town and tried to find somewhere for breakfast before hitting the trails. We found some life in the next town and a transport cafe that was on the boarder of Portugal and Spain. The two countries were divided by an old border crossing concrete structure that spanned 6 lanes, where back in the old days you’d have had to show your passport then drive on through. Nowadays the old large buildings and are there but not used and the businesses that once made there money at the border were all long gone except transport cafes either side of the border and a free scattered shops.

We decided to stay in Portugal, bad choice.

The cafe gave you a card upon entry, and when you ordered your food at the counter the server took your card and added your items to it. When finished you give the lady at the till your card and she tells you what you owe. Simple!

Inside the cafe you could see things hand not changed since it was built back in the 1950’s.

The food the offered was some kind of pork fried on a griddle and put between two bits of bread. Or Paste De Natas.

As the pork looked absolutelydisgusting and full of sinew and fat I chose to have a sweet breakfast of Custard tarts and a very small coffee.

They don’t put milk in coffee here in Portugal. Oh no. You can forget about your cappuccinos or lattes, and soy milk doesn’t exist in the places we have been!

No this is transport cafe food Portuguese style. You get what you get and nothing more. Maybe a smile from the cashier on your way out. Which we did after 20 minutes or so and hit the trails again soon after leaving.

We rode through some amazing mountain paths. With views for days. Through some tiny villages with beautiful old churches. And we rode lots of fire roads with the some great hill climbs up through the mountains. We stopped for a rest and I brewed up some coffee and sat down to take in the view for a while. I took my Jet Boil Zip and AreoPress so making a cup of coffee was a treat on the trail.

We rode through a river with the water coming into our boots. So we stopped and took them off to empty the water out of them and to squeeze the water out of our socks.

Eventually coming out off the trails to find a petrol station and some food.

There was a restaurant right next door to the petrol station, so we went on in and sat down to some traditional Portuguese food. It was good hearty food with nice nice surroundings.

We did a few more miles on the trails afterwards and eventually found ourselves in the city of Ride of Castelo Branco. We rolled up into a bar and had a beer and a smoke and found somewhere to stay for the night via the internet.

After a few days of slumming it in cheap accommodation we decided to push the boat out and checked into a 4 Star hotel!

We finished up our beers and rode the short distance up to the hotel which was on top of a hill over looking the town.

We checked in, and the first thing we did after getting the key and seeing the room was to go for a swim in the hotels pool!

Lush. Just lush. After days of battering the bikes and body on the trails a nice swim and jacuzzi was just what was needed to take the aches and pains away. The pool was quiet and peaceful and lush.

After the swim we die does to get a cab into town and have some dinner.

We found a pizza place that boasted a menu of 150 different pizzas! Heaven!

We ate, drank and got merry! After which we strolled around the town and sadly I whacked my shin into a concrete bench which really hurt!!

We found a few bars, had a couple of games of table football and relaxed. It felt good to have a night out on the town rather than being stuck in a hotel bedroom watching subtitled television.

But that’s where we ended up at about 1am ready to sleep like babies. A good days riding and fun night out.

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