Cycling Towards Fatima: Saving the best for the end of the day......BIG, LONG CLIMB - A tour of France, and Portugal - CycleBlaze

October 6, 2014

Cycling Towards Fatima: Saving the best for the end of the day......BIG, LONG CLIMB

As of today, we have climbed 7040 metres, (23,097ft) on our bikes, in Portugal. Jesus H!

Today we started with a lovely ride along the Zezere River, downhill (Yeh), into a gorge. The area we are in now has more trees, and less farmland.

Our first stop of the morning was the Castle of Almoural, which is a medieval castle located on a small inlet in the middle of the Tagus River. The castle was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar. I have to confess that we did not actually see it. It was an in and out detour to see it, and as we were heading downhill, two of our friends were coming up and told us not to bother, as it is a steep down, and of course, a STEEP UP, and since we are getting "castled out", we took their advice.That's what friends are for! Thank you ladies!

Just before our lunch stop, it started to rain. We held out for awhile, but finally stopped and put our rain jackets on. From our lunch stop, the climb we had been warned about started, so we debated whether to do this in the rain, or take the van up, as a few people were doing. Ron put his rain pants on, as a guarantee that it would stop, and it did. What a guy! The serious climb was 12km, but it wasn't too bad, mostly 9%, with a little 15%. We just put our heads down, get in a rhythm and go for it. Or jut maybe, we are getting used to steep hills.

When we got to the top, we were congratulated, and told the remaining 8km were gentle. LIAR! The hills were shorter, but actually steeper, but we survived, and all in all, it was another good day on the bikes.

Tonight we are in Fatima. Ron and I were here 32 years ago. I can honestly say, that I would not have dreamed that we would someday return on bikes!

Today's ride: 37 miles (60 km)
Total: 1,473 miles (2,371 km)

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